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Precious gift for little Amal

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Precious gift for little Amal

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THANKS to the Precious Touch Foundation, seven-year-old Amal Blackman was able to live one of his dreams recently. Amal, diagnosed with sickle cell disease (HBSS) at one year old, dreamed of travelling, and the Precious Touch Foundation made that a reality by granting him one wish out of their wish-granting programme (I wish to go, I wish to have, I wish to be or I wish to meet).Amal chose I wish to go. Along with his mum Keisha, dad Anderson and his two sisters, he spent two weeks in St Vincent, returning to Barbados on Sunday.“It was my dream to go in the sky and go to St Vincent and see where my grandfather lives,” said an outspoken Amal. “I enjoyed [shopping] . . . We went to Bequia on the ferry.  We went to the beach and we ate a lot,” he said.Keisha said she and her husband have traits of the disease and had Amal tested early on.Twenty-nine-year-old Keisha, who was a chef at the time, now stays at home taking care of her son while getting help from her sister and her parents.“My motivation comes from God,” said Keisha.Amal will be going into Class One at Selah Primary School in September. His mother said the just concluded school term was perhaps the “most trying”.Missed school“He missed a lot of time from school, like weeks at a time. So this year, in terms of work, I would say he didn’t do as well as the year before,” she said.Since the start of this year Amal experienced 12 crises, and had to be in the hospital four times because of serious attacks.“It is a very painful sickness. We can’t do anything when he is in pain, we just have to give him the medication and hope it works, but it don’t always work . . . ,” said the Connell Town, St Lucy resident.Amal told the Midweek Nation that the worst part of being sick was when he had to get the IV drips at the hospital.Thankfully, there were no crises while Amal was in St Vincent.Amal has other dreams – he wants to become a veterinarian. “I have a parrot, a dog and a sheep and I take care of them,” he said.His parents described him as “very special, unique and sensitive. It does not take much to make him happy. Amal picks up things easily and he likes the closeness of family”.According to the founder and president of the Precious Touch Foundation, Adorial Maxwell-Hazell, it was always a wonderful experience planning for Amal’s wish or any other.“These children are very excited to be given an opportunity to live their dreams. The parents and families of the children are very appreciative and grateful to the Foundation as they share in the children special and wonderful experiences,” she said.Maxwell-Hazell said that the foundation planned to continue granting wishes to medically challenged children.“We are also looking at the possibility of extending the Foundation through the Caribbean where we are able to allow other children the opportunity to participate in our ‘wish’ granting programme,” she said.As one of the final surprises for Amal from the foundation, he and his family were driven home in a limousine from the Grantley Adams International Airport after they returned to the island Sunday morning. (MM)