MichelleG 'Island Girl'
Frankie Williams has spent much of his career as a Bellman at Couples Sans Souci. Through the years, he has welcomed guests with the true warmth of Jamaica and developed countless friendships with many of our returning guests.
Earlier this year in March, when Frankie became suddenly ill, his friends and colleagues, along with volunteers from the Issa Trust Foundation, surrounded him with love and life saving support.
Frankie had a pacemaker surgically implanted in 2003 due to a born heart condition. A routine check-up in February of this year revealed an increased heart rate and three weeks later, Frankie was rushed to the St. Ann’s Bay emergency room without a pulse or heartbeat.
The hospital immediately diagnosed the failure of Frankie’s pacemaker, but was not equipped to safely handle the situation. Even more frightening was the prohibitive cost of a replacement pacemaker – far in excess of anything that the Williams family might have been able to afford.
Pierre Battaglia, General Manager of Couples Sans Souci, and Diane Pollard, President of the Issa Trust Foundation, worked around the clock to marshal some very extensive resources and secure the donation of a matching pacemaker.
On March 25th, 2014 Frankie successfully underwent the operation to have a new pacemaker inserted. It wasn’t long before he was back at work at Couples Sans Souci where he belongs! Frankie expressed in a recent interview that “words can’t describe how he feels, but he is more than grateful for the quick assistance and to know that people cared that much makes him forever appreciative’’. He also noted that his immediate family was moved beyond words and so appreciative of all that was done for him through the Couples Resorts family, Issa Trust Foundation and the doctors of the University Hospital of The West Indies that performed the operation.
We were able to catch up with a member of the surgical team, Dr. Rodger Miller. As the senior resident in cardiothoracic surgery at the University Hospital, Dr. Miller explained that the device installed was an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator; which reduces risk of sudden death and shocks the heart if needed. Dr. Miller had high praise for the speedy response from all involved and admiration for the network of support and coordination within the Issa Trust Foundation.
As Diane Pollard, president of the Issa Trust Foundation noted, “It really did take a team to pull it off and today we can celebrate the continued life of Frankie Williams.” Diane downplays her contribution by telling us, “All I did was help find the right people, get everyone talking, wrote the grant and followed up at the end of the day.” Diane’s passion for helping others and for Jamaica is evident in every action and had it not been for her perseverance and passion for what she does, a life would not have been saved.
Couples Resorts owns and operates four 5 star all- inclusive resorts in Jamaica and has always been willing to offer needed assistance to their surrounding communities. The Issa Trust Foundation, a nonprofit organization was established in 2005 dedicated to making a positive and lasting impact on the youth of Jamaica.
Since inception, the foundation has conducted annual pediatric medical missions in Negril and Ocho Rios Jamaica, treating thousands of children. The mission’s goal is not only to provide free medical care to children, but to also guide local health care providers, so that they can continue to practice in their home countries where their skills are most urgently needed.
Couples Resorts and the family of Frankie Williams would like to take this opportunity to thank the Issa Trust Foundation and all the doctors at the University of the West Indies Hospital, and the Boston Scientific organization for their assistance.