SMMC hosts appreciation event for oncology patients

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A scene at the event.

CAY HILL–St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) hosted an appreciation event for its current and former oncology patients on Saturday, August 5, under the theme: “Appreciation Celebration: Surviving the Odds.” The purpose of the celebration was to honour patients and all that they have overcome. A small team of SMMC’s Outpatient Department “felt a great need to celebrate their patients by involving all those they have helped along the journey,” SMMC said in a press release on Thursday. Preparations for the event began earlier in the year, but the idea was birthed almost two years previously.

  The celebration featured a full day of events including a bus tour, make-overs and a dinner with entertainment at Little Well Oasis. Calypsonian Fish da Mega Boss entertained guests with a performance showcasing some of his winning calypso songs. Cecil Griffith and company delivered a rendition on the saxophone. Guests were addressed by several speakers, amongst whom were specialists Dr. Felix Holiday and Dr. Wassenaar, who have worked closely with survivors of cancer. Some of the heroes shared their experiences with the audience, dignitaries, and staff members of the hospital.


  Health Minister Emil Lee and President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams congratulated the “heroes” for surviving the odds, and also expressed their gratitude to SMMC for organising such an event. 

  Manager of Patient Care Antonio Pantophlet thanked the organising staff of the Outpatient Department, and everyone who contributed in one way or the other to help make the event a success. SMMC said the success of the event stems from all the lives touched during the 20 years of chemotherapy services at SMMC. Management and staff thanked patients who throughout the years have chosen SMMC to be their treatment centre, and for trusting staff with the provision of quality care. “With the success of this event and the request of many patients, a future celebration may be in the works,” SMMC said.

  Coincidentally, this year marks 20 years since the hospital first started oncology treatment for patients in need. Supervisor Nurse Cijntje recalled:  “We started with our first patients in a very small room, where the surgeons’ offices are now. Over the years, the chemotherapy services provided at the hospital have expanded tremendously. We have survivors who have celebrated over ten years, and many others who have success stories to be celebrated.”

Source: The Daily Herald