Sunday 20 September, 2020

Jamaican former work permit holder in Cayman desperate for a kidney

Mr Owen Powis

Mr Owen Powis

Fourty-four year old Owen Powis never knew that stomach issues and a pain in his foot, that began while he was working as a Construction Project Manager in the Cayman islands, would change his life forever.

Mr Powis, originally from Spanish Town Jamaica, but living in Cayman between 1998 and 2010 and then again from 2019 until borders closed in March this year, went to visit Dr Victor Lookloy who immediately sent him to a specialist at the Health Services Authority.

It was at the Health Services Authority that Mr Powis was diagnosed with renal failure, a condition that occurs when the kidneys are unable to filter waste products from the blood. This causes a build up of dangerous levels of blood waste which can be fatal if left untreated.

Given the prohibitive cost of treatment in the Cayman Islands, Mr Powis was referred to a specialist in Jamaica who put in a catheter for him. Because he was unable to afford medical treatment in Cayman but needed to remain in the country in order to work, so that he could pay for it, he found himself living between both islands while undergoing three day a week dialysis in Jamaica.

"All of the money I have made now goes towards dialysis. I have been working to stay alive," he says.

The costly treatment which would have cost $500 per visit if he was in the Cayman Islands is more manageable in Jamaica, but still costs $250 US per week. There is a free programme in Jamaica with a wait list, but Mr Powis is so far back in the line that he has not yet even made it on the waitlist.

"You have to wait for someone to die in order to climb up the list," he explains dejectedly. 

In March, while Mr Powis was in Jamaica receiving treatment for dialysis, Cayman's borders closed, depriving him of his main source of income.

"I still do some work online and my family is helping, but I need a lot of help," he explains.

Recently Mr Powis was lucky enough to find a matching kidney donor but he must still find $25,000 US for the transplant while continuing to pay for all of his treatment, tests, anti-rejection medication and three days of dialysis per week." 

"Emotionally this is stressful," he says. "Sometimes I just want to give up. I am not doing anything. I am not building anything. I am on the anti-rejection medication. I’d appreciate any help I can get to be able to have this life saving transplant," he says.

Once healthy, Mr Powis would like to return to the Cayman Islands where he can continue to work and enjoy a quiet life.

"I love the peace of Cayman and the people," he says. "I love to fish."

For those who wish to support Owen Powis, a Go Fund Me account has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/f/owen-powis-kidney-transplant/donate .

Those who would prefer to send a wire, can do so as per the following instructions:

JN Bank
Account holder: Owen Powis 
A/C 2094201959

For those wishing to send a US wire, the instructions are as follows:

Payment Bank: Wells Fargo, N.A., New York, USA
Swift code: PNBPUS3NNYC
ABA code: 026005092
Beneficiary Bank: First Caribbean International Bank (Jamaica) Ltd.
Swift code: FCIBJMKN
Account holder: Owen Powis
A/C 1000468694
Address: 23 Hillary ve, Kingston 10, Jamaica

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