The Newport Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester, on Saturday August 7 handed over $35,000 to six-year-old Natalee Reid, who is challenged by a heart condition.
The child was first diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease a year ago and, since then, has been admitted to the Mandeville Regional Hospital, the Bustamante Hospital for Children and is now a patient at the University Hospital of the West Indies, resulting in skyrocketing medical bills for her single mother, Lorna Smith.
After accepting the donation, an emotional Miss Smith told the congregation that she did not have enough words to thank them, but asked that they understand how she felt. She later revealed her joy to JIS News.
Pastor of the Newport Seventh-day Adventist Church in Manchester, Wayne Palmer (left) comforting Natalee Reid (centre) and her mother, Lorna Smith, at the church on Saturday (August 7).
“I am so touched, sometimes I feel that people have no love anymore, but I was wrong. I appreciate everything, and all the people who give their support. It is very important, she has over a million (dollars) in bills up there (University Hospital) which I have not start to pay yet. This money will help to purchase medication for Natalee,” she said.
According to Pastor of the Church, Wayne Palmer, the move to help the child was part of what the church was called to do.
“The church is about ministry and, at all times, we should find ways and means of ministering to others. That is the purpose for which the church was established,” he explained.
“When Jesus was here. He had great interest in people, He sought to ensure that people were always comfortable, and children were always attracted to Him. We are happy that the church has rallied and have shown compassion to little Natalee,” Pastor Palmer added.
The money was raised through a gospel concert held at the Church in May, and Director of its Health Ministry Department which spearheaded the drive, Verona Patterson, told JIS News that they decided to put on the event after a community member informed them of the plight of the child and her mother.
“It is a way of telling others about Christ, and doing good for people who are in need. Every quarter we have health clinics in the communities. We are asking others that, if you see people in need, try to help them,” she said.
The cost of medication for Natalee runs over $2,700 every 14 days, and persons wishing help can do so through an account at the Bank of Nova Scotia- account number 6299965.