There’s hope!

st. joseph primary students and staff receive inspirational talk from old scholar

Keep hope alive.

This was the suggestion repeated to the students of the St. Joseph Primary School as they gathered to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the school this morning.

During the service, Principal Cloda Alleyne, Rector of St. Joseph’s Parish Church, Errington Massiah and past student, Pastor Livington Clarke all encouraged the students to always give of their best and never give up on their dreams.

However, the advice was even more impactful when former student, Natalie Ward, spoke to them. Ward, who is currently pursuing her PhD in Chemistry at the University of the West Indies, said in her early years no one thought she could have reached such heights. At the age of 10 years doctors diagnosed her with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Speaking on the topic ‘Real Hope Overcomes the Impossible’, she told her story and how her real hope faced opposition, but won the victory.

Now 26 years old, she said when she was preparing to do the Common Entrance Examination she started to get sick.

“I had a joint condition where my bones would begin to seize up and after a while it got so bad that I couldn’t even stand or walk properly,” she said. “I was on crutches and my daddy would have to bring me into school.

“The doctors didn’t know what caused it, they didn’t know how to cure it and it just kept getting worse. Then they told my parents the horror stories: ‘She may never walk again, her hands may seize up, she can’t handle a pen properly, she can’t do the things she is accustomed to doing’.

“I was faced with what looked like a hopeless situation, but all along my parents, my family members, my friends, my teachers here were holding to real hope; and this was the real hope that persevered in pray. This was a real hope that continued to encourage. This was a real hope that kept looking for a solution to my situation.

“Today I can hold a pen, today I can stand, and jump and run and play and do all the things people said that I would never do again because my parents held on to real hope. What if God didn’t heal me? What if I was standing today in front of you on crutches, or seated in a wheelchair? Would that make my hope worthless?

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