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Snubbed?  No OTs make the Royal’s Caribbean Tour



By Deandrea Hamilton



#TurksandCaicos, March 29, 2022 – Turks and Caicos Islanders who cared to have them as guests were not pleased having to watch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge jaunt over and around their islands in a Caribbean Tour which excluded all of the British overseas territories.

The Turks and Caicos Islands has not had a Royal Visit for 22 years, according to the catalogue of the Turks and Caicos National Museum and some residents have taken note.

“It’s disgraceful, they’re always in Bermuda, always in Jamaica, always in Trinidad and Tobago, always in The Bahamas and always in Cayman Islands and Bermuda; never Turks and Caicos?  You fly over Turks and Caicos to leave Jamaica to go to The Bahamas.  You fly over Turks and Caicos from the UK, heading to Jamaica and you can’t stop into Turks and Caicos, really?”

The businessman speaking to us in a WhatsApp message was not the only one.  It seemed to have been trending on social media, this thought that the Turks and Caicos was again being overlooked; snubbed by its own Royal Family.

“TCI and Cayman are still British territories and they’re not on the list?  Does anyone see the irony in this,” penned another anonymously.

The Caribbean Tour of Prince William and Princess Kate included a first stop in Belize, where some plans had to be shelved due to robust protests against the visit of the couple.

The next country in the three-nation tour was Jamaica where the Prince was compelled to respond to protestors who demanded an apology for the side effects of slavery and colonialism and demanded reparations.

The finale was a three-island visit to The Bahamas, where hurricane-torn Abaco and Grand Bahama historically received the Duke and Duchess, designing for them a string of activities which were both somber and sweet.

Widely shared images of the duo dancing with villagers and crafting chocolate in Belize or their military, cultural and glamourous mingling with the people of Jamaica and the regatta sailing, school visit, junkanoo parade, coral reef lesson and conch salad tasting in The Bahamas were like a slap in the face.

“In all the hype, Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory and we are citizens and BOTCs and these (word redacted) wouldn’t even bat an eyelash to say let me see what’s happening.  But they can go to Jamaica, Bahamas, these are Commonwealth members, but we are still under the monarchy, whether we like it or not and I call this a real disdain for and a real disrespect and sorely inconsiderate by the Royals in general,” said another entrepreneur, who works in the hospitality industry.

The last official Royal visit, according to the National Museum, was in 2000 when Prince Andrew, Duke of York who came in and spent three days.  He visited Grand Turk and flew into Provo where he spent time at Clement Howell High school, the Cheshire Hall Plantation and Beaches Resort.

However, it is the late Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh, who died at the age of 99-years old on April 9, 2021 has visited Turks and Caicos most of any Royal.

Four times, beginning in 1966; his last trip logged as March 20, 1993.

“I was here when Prince Phillip came.  God rest his soul, a jovial man.  The children came out to see him, he stopped, walked and talked… he even spoke to me as a chaperone, though he did not have any children with him…

I mean BVI there, Cayman there, Bermuda there, Anguilla there and us (Turks and Caicos) and we don’t even get mentioned in their travels?  I don’t understand it.

They travelled around us, over us, between us like we don’t even exist.”

The Caribbean Tour of the Duke and Duchess is completed now.  It was designed to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and yes it did not include Bermuda, Cayman, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat or the Turks and Caicos Islands; all Caribbean located British territories.

There remained no explanation as to why the six Caribbean territories were left off the list, though some journalists have surmised the whirlwind visit was to reaffirm the monarchy amongst nations which may want to take the path of Barbados and remove the Queen as Head of State.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, certainly stated clearly that Jamaica is ready to ‘move on’.

The TCI is however, not in that class having opted to remain a British territory with some strides toward greater self-determination.

The Turks and Caicos Islands would have certainly been on brilliant display, with a lot to show and much to tell. It is home to Grace Bay Beach, the World’s #1; In the past decade Providenciales has climbed to the travel ranking of World’s #1 Island and the country’s brushes with destructive hurricanes which were fueled by climate change, not to mention UK funded environmental and ecological projects which are working to preserve endemic habitats and species, are all ideal reasons to “come see about us.”

In a 2019 Town&Country article: ‘Here’s what it really takes to plan a Royal Tour’ it was explained: “Royal tours can take up to a year to plan, and are either instigated by the U.K. government, or by an invitation from the host country. The itinerary is put together based on whatever matters of national importance the host government would like to draw attention to, while also incorporating some of the visiting royal’s personal interests.”


Cleveland Clinic Performs First-In-World Full Multi-Organ Transplant to Treat Rare Appendix Cancer



#USA, August 13, 2022 – Cleveland Clinic has successfully performed a first-in-the-world full multi-organ transplant to treat a patient with a rare form of appendix cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). Upon completion of the lifesaving transplant surgery, the patient received five digestive organs: liver, stomach, pancreas, duodenum, and small intestine.

Anil Vaidya, M.D., Cleveland Clinic’s Intestinal Transplant Program co-director, led the seven-surgeon team that completed the pioneering operation on a 32-year-old man in September 2021.

“The patient had one of the more advanced cases of PMP I have seen,” said Dr. Vaidya. “While about 80% of patients with the condition can be treated with traditional therapies, what do you do with the 20% for whom the traditional therapy isn’t successful? In some cases, the answer may be a multi-organ transplant.”

During the 17-hour operation, surgeons removed the patient’s diseased organs. He then received the following deceased donor’s organs all together and at the same time: liver, stomach, pancreas and duodenum (pancreaticoduodenal complex), spleen, small intestine, and right colon. The donor spleen was initially transplanted to boost the immune protection of the newly transplanted organs and improve blood flow to the pancreas until fully transplanted. The donor right colon was initially transplanted to help protect the new intestine from infection and improve its ability to absorb nutrients.  Both the donor spleen and donor right colon were removed prior to the completion of the transplant after they successfully served to protect the other organs during the operation.

“As far as we know, it is the first time in the world that a full multi-organ transplant, including the liver and four other digestive organs, is performed to treat PMP,” said Dr. Vaidya.

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic in 2020, Dr. Vaidya performed in England the world’s first modified multi-organ transplant (excluding the liver) to treat a patient with PMP who had exhausted all other management strategies.

PMP is a rare cancer that typically originates as a tumor in the appendix. When the slow-growing tumor ruptures, its jelly-like content spreads to other digestive organs, with additional tumors developing that impair gastrointestinal function. Malnutrition and life-threatening complications ultimately occur.

Following the diagnosis in 2019, the patient began a long odyssey of treatments. He was one of the 20% of patients with PMP for whom the traditional treatments were ineffective. Often, this population of patients is left with few to no treatment options.

The patient was referred to Cleveland Clinic in 2021 in the end stage of his disease. He was receiving hospice care at that time. The patient had stopped working and could no longer eat solid foods. He was receiving nutrients intravenously through total parenteral nutrition (TPN).

“We needed to perform an evaluation to determine if transplantation in his case was safe, feasible and could provide long-term benefits,” said Dr. Vaidya.

Dr. Vaidya completed a thorough assessment of the patient’s case and received approval from Cleveland Clinic’s Intestinal Transplant Selection Committee to proceed. The patient was placed on the national transplant waiting list in July 2021.

“The patient – who needed a liver and four other digestive organs – had started to deteriorate quite rapidly,” said Dr. Vaidya. “It was touch-and-go that he would make it.”

In September 2021, a donor was found, and less than 24 hours later, the patient was undergoing the groundbreaking

surgery. The first three hours were preparatory, in essence removing the diseased abdominal organs. Next, the donor organs were inserted into the abdominal cavity, all the necessary vascular connections were completed and a left-sided ileostomy was created to handle bodily waste and let the body recover from the surgery.

“The operation was well planned and went like clockwork,” said Dr. Vaidya. “The team members knew exactly what they were going to do, and the timing was perfect. It went really well.”

Following the transplant, the patient remained in the hospital for 51 days.  Soon after he was discharged, he returned because he was suffering from a case of graft-versus-host disease, a common occurrence following intestinal or bone marrow transplants where the donated organs’ immune cells recognize the recipient’s tissues as foreign and attack the recipient.

The patient underwent a procedure perfected and performed by Amy Lightner, M.D., colorectal surgeon and director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Lightner administered three doses of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-derived exosomes, a first ever, novel treatment in solid organ transplants — another first for a patient who received a full multi-organ transplant to treat PMP.

According to Dr. Vaidya, “The patient’s recovery was absolutely amazing. His symptoms abated within two hours of the first dose.”

Nine months post-transplant, the patient, now 33, can eat and digest solid foods again and has energy to do what he loves, including walking and biking outdoors.

“There is currently no evidence of cancer recurrence,” said Dr. Vaidya.


Photo Captions: 

Header: Masato Fujiki, MD, (center) and the Cleveland Clinic surgical team, led by Anil Vaidya, MD, performing the first-in-world multi-organ transplant to treat a rare type of appendix cancer. (Photo courtesy of Cleveland Clinic)

1st insert: Anil Vaidya, M.D.

2nd insert: From left: Anil Vaidya, M.D., Shannon Jarancik, physician assistant, Amy Lightner, M.D., Andy Voge, patient, Rachel Voge, Andy’s wife, and Anita Barnoski, transplant coordinator.

Release: Cleveland Clinic / DPA media

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Bahamas News

Scores of Students Equipped with Supplies to Return to School



NASSAU, BAHAMAS, AUGUST 13, 2022 – As the new school year approaches, Sandals Foundation Ambassadors at Sandals Royal Bahamian have embarked on a back-to-school drive, donating school supplies to local schools and communities in Nassau as part of their commitment to education and community development.

Recently, a team of over 15 volunteers from the resort traveled to Gambier Primary School, where students and teachers were gathered for summer school, and distributed over 40 packages with school supplies that included notebooks, pencils, crayons, pencil cases, erasers, sharpeners, reading books, rulers and glue sticks and warm meals.

Public Relations Manager at Sandals Royal Bahamian, Renee Deleon, shared the impact that these donations will have on families and schools across the island.

“Education is pivotal to the growth of a nation and it is something that we are committed to at Sandals. We know that back to school expenses here like anywhere else in the world can be quite strenuous so we want to play our part in helping to ease the financial burden that this may present to families as schools look to reopen.”

Deleon further added, “Thanks to the support of our guests who packed for a purpose, we were able to collect these items that will allow students to be equipped with the essential tools they need to make a better transition to the classroom when they return to school.”

The gesture was met with song, dance and echoes of ‘thank you’ as the Sandals team made the presentations to the children. Principal Forbes explained how this donation will help to improve the teaching and learning process.

“I am tremendously grateful to the Sandals Foundation and their team members from Sandals Royal Bahamian for gifting my students with school supplies. This donation will go a long way toward allowing teachers to execute lessons and students to participate.”

Forbes also noted that the school has had a longstanding relationship with the Foundation.

“Over the years we’ve had a good relationship with the Sandals Foundation and I am happy that we still have them in our corner.”

In addition to this donation to Gambier Primary School, the Sandals Royal Bahamian team has distributed school supplies to the Community Touch Group. Donations were also made to children at the Nazareth Centre as well as some children from the Okra Hill community. Later this month the Sandals Foundation ambassadors will be giving back to children from the Nassau Village and Grove communities.


Photo Captions: 

Header: These Sandals Foundation Ambassadors from Sandals Royal Bahamian were captured with bag packs filled with school supplies moments before they donated the supplies to the Nazareth Centre.

 1st insert: It is always a joyous occasion when Sandals Foundation Ambassadors go out to give back.

 2nd insert: Volunteers from Sandals Royal Bahamian were a picture of joy when they stopped by Gambier Primary School to donate school supplies and issue lunches recently.

 Release: Sandals Resort

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Bahamas News

GBPA Statement from Ian Rolle, President



Re:  GBPA’s Response to fire in the International Bazaar


#TheBahamas, August 10, 2022 – The Grand Bahama Port Authority is aware of the recent fire at the International Bazaar.

The GBPA has engaged, and continues to engage, with operators of the International Bazaar, which include representatives of the Bazaar Association and several property owners, so that we can continue demolition exercises on the dilapidated structures and buildings.

The GBPA is acutely aware of the need to demolish derelict structures within the International Bazaar for the safety of all businesses and visitors. We have performed demolitions in the past at our own cost, most recently in February 2022 when we, in partnership with owners, demolished fire-damaged buildings in the Oriental Section. We have also written to numerous property owners of dilapidated structures over the years to sensitize them to the need to repair or demolish their buildings.

In addition, we have engaged the Government of the Bahamas in advance discussions to approve our requested amendments of the Building and Sanitary bylaws, which would enable GBPA to execute more demolitions in a timely manner and recoup the associated costs.

With the requested bylaw amendments in place, GBPA can continue to make consistent efforts to address the remainder of derelict buildings in the International Bazaar and other dilapidated structures within the city.

The GBPA itself has never owned any part of the International Bazaar but has historically subsidized the Bazaar for many years when owners were no longer maintaining its communal areas.

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