The Cayman community is stepping up again in the effort to save Andy Reyes, the young heart patient who spent months hospitalized in Grand Cayman.
Oddy Grullon and Jahayra Jackman are hosting a fundraising dinner on Saturday evening, Feb. 24, at Icoa for the 13-year-old, who is currently awaiting a heart transplant at a hospital in Gainesville, Florida.
Andy has had four previous operations on his heart, the most recent one being performed at Health City Cayman Islands in September. After that procedure, Andy was kept on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine for 134 days while his family searched for his next treatment.
A major fundraising effort began in his name on GoFundMe.com, and as of press time on Tuesday, his benefactors had raised $516,583 to provide for his medical costs. Andy was transferred from Grand Cayman to Gainesville on Jan. 27, and the doctors there are prepping him for his future transplant.
Ms. Jackman and Ms. Grullon both hail from the Dominican Republic, like Andy, and they met his family at Health City before embarking on their own fundraising quest. Each plate at Saturday’s Icoa dinner costs $100, and contributors can also make cash donations and offer prizes for a raffle.
Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, a senior cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon at Health City, said last month that he believed Andy had set a world record by staying on an ECMO machine for four months, and he also said that the teenager had shown an indomitable will in his fight for survival.
“He should do well. There’s no doubt about that” said Dr. Chattuparambil shortly after Andy had been transferred. “He’s a fighter. If he could fight for those four months, he’ll fight it out.”
People interested in learning more and donating to the Andy Reyes cause can visit his page on GoFundMe.com. For more information about Saturday’s dinner, call Oddy Grullon at 917-7621 or Jahayra Jackman at 324-4218.