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Ru’Shon has his heart repaired

His parents are now looking towards working on correcting their son’s other medical conditions
  • Ru'Shon Fox with his mother, Sandra Williams-Fox before his surgery. SANDRA WILLIAMS-FOX

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: Oct 29, 2013

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A child’s first airplane ride is always an exciting experience — it’s excitement that usually rubs off on to the people traveling with them — and such was the case for Ru’Shon Fox. During the summer, four-year-old Ru’Shon, with his mother Sandra Williams-Fox in tow made his first trip to the United States. The excitement the youngster displayed as he prepared to travel to Hollywood, Florida, was palpable according to mother. And at the airport, he refused to accept any help with his carry on bag, even though he would have to take short steps and short breaths along the way. He insisted he could do it.

Even though he was friendly with everyone he met at the airport, and told all of his family’s business to whoever would listen, his mother said she did not mind because she did not know what the future would hold for them as her son was on his way to Florida for the first time, not for a pleasure trip, but one that would require that he have heart surgery to correct a heart defect — Tetralogy of Fallot that causes low oxygen levels in the blood which leads to cyanosis (a bluish-purple color to the skin of those affected). The classic form of Tetralogy of Fallot includes four defects of the heart and its major blood vessels.

It’s a surgery that is not performed locally. Ru’Shon had to be taken to Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hospital in the United States in July to have the life-saving surgery that starts at $50,000 performed. It was also a surgery that his family could not afford.

Like many other parents, Rudolph Sr. and Sandra Fox turned to The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps to repair the hearts of people in The Bahamas, primarily children, for assistance with the cost of heart care for her son.

The surgery was a success, and five days later, Ru’Shon was getting to enjoy a little bit of Florida with his parents as they took in a movie, and had to endure their son urging them to walk up — suddenly they had to try to keep up with him and his new-found energy, recalled his mother. As they returned home, Ru’Shon again opted to roll his own carry-on, which he did with lots of energy and he did not have to stop to take breaths or the short steps he had when he went over to Florida.

“For sure I thought we’d make it on CNN, just for [his] speedy recovery,” said his mother. “I was shocked he recovered so quickly. They must have given him energy boosters during the surgery.”

Fox who says they believe they are a blessed family says she now can’t even keep up with her son.

“We will be Heart Foundation spokespeople for life. We are more than grateful,” said Fox.

At birth, Ru’Shon had been diagnosed with multiple health problems including the congenital heart defect. He also had a bi-lateral cleft lip and palate, polycystic kidneys and one leg shorter than the other. He spent eight weeks in hospital, immediately following his birth. His cleft lip and palate were corrected. However, without heart surgery, he could have died.

The Foxes are now looking towards working on correcting Ru’Shon’s other medical conditions that haven’t been corrected as yet. She said doctors are looking to add a lift to his shoe at present to even out his legs and will look to lengthen the bone once it stops growing. And doctors have said to them that he can function with one kidney — one of his kidneys has stones. They are also looking forward to complete his palate repair with a small hole to close.

The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation relies heavily upon the generosity of others to save the lives of children like Ru’Shon. To date, they have helped over 4,000 persons. The Heart Ball Committee (HBC) is the fundraising arm of The Heart Foundation. The year 2014 will mark the 50th Heart Ball. As the fundraising arm of The Heart Foundation, The Heart Ball Committee hosts two major fundraisers annually: The Annual Heart Ball (February 15, 2014) and The Annual Tea Party & Fashion Show (November 17, 2013).  The public is encouraged to participate in these events, make donations, and purchase ads in The Heart Ball’s booklet, sponsor events, participate in sponsored events and volunteer their services. Donations made by U.S. citizens are tax deductible. To purchase tickets for The HBC’s Fashion Show or The Annual Heart Ball, or to find out how you can assist, telephone 327-0806 through 10.

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