GUYANA-SOS for Emannie
Mum calls on public to help with son’s brain surgery
GEORGETOWN –– A desperate Felisha Melvin is pleading with the general public for help for her son who was born with a rare brain defect. Part of his brain protrudes through a hole in his skull.
Melvin, 22, expected to give birth to a healthy bouncing baby boy; but to her dismay, little Emannie was born with a partly exposed brain, believed to be encephalocele, although local doctors have not been able to confirm the exact nature of his condition.
Little Emannie, who is now just over a month old, so far displays normal cognitive development and motor skills.
“I know he got to live. If God wanted to take him, since I pushed him out, God woulda take him. But he is not meant to die. He come here with a purpose and he’s going to live,” the tearful mother told the Guyana Times, as she expressed her happiness for her little miracle bundle.
Melvin, who is determined to do all she can to ensure her child’s survival, has been less than impressed with the medical care she and her baby have received.
She said upon the birth of her child, doctors hurriedly rushed them to the Georgetown Public Hospital for better medical treatment, given the baby’s condition. But, she described her stay at the Georgetown Public Hospital as “torturous”, saying the nurses were callous to both her and little Emannie.
She accused them of often neglecting him and caring for the other infants in the ward.
“He used to bleed by he forehead and they never used to clean it; they used to leave him nasty there. I had to beg them for li’l material and I used to clean he myself,” the devastated mother cried.
According to Melvin, doctors, while unable to say exactly what was wrong with her baby, told her the child would soon perish. They also advised her to seek medical advice overseas.
According to the US Centres For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), encephalocele is a rare type of neural tube defect (NTD). The neural tube is a narrow channel that folds and closes during the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy to form the brain and spinal cord.
Encephalocele is a sac-like protrusion or projection of the brain and the membranes that cover it through an opening in the skull and happens when the neural tube does not close completely during pregnancy. The result is an opening in the midline of the upper part of the skull, the area between the forehead and nose, or the back of the skull.
The CDC estimates that each year about 375 babies in the United States are born with encephalocele. Babies with encephalocele are vulnerable to nervous system and other health problems.
Generally, surgery is performed during infancy to place the protruding tissues back into the skull, remove the sac, and correct the associated craniofacial abnormalities. Even large protrusions can often be removed without causing major functional disability. A resolute Melvin is seeking to have surgery performed on the child before the situation worsens, but no one seems to be giving her the advice she seeks.
“All I want to know is where it can be done and how soon it can be done.”
Compounding the situation, Melvin, who was born and raised in Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara, was abandoned by her spouse after the child was born.
“He said he ain’t able with stress, and I have to keep me stress with me by meself,” Melvin related.
She said the father had also urged her to get rid of the child.
Even though the man has abandoned her, Melvin, who said they were not married and had only been together for a short time, does not regret the moments she had with him.
Melvin now lives with her mother and has the support of her sister in raising little Emannie.