Hurting Justina seeking help with $30,000 op

Eighteen-year-old Justina Sobers eats ice cream every day! And it is not because she wants to; she is forced to.

Justina cannot eat solid foods. And the fat in the ice cream, along with other dietary supplements, helps to sustain her body, which has been losing weight rapidly as a result of a rare disorder she was diagnosed with last year.

Justina Sobers and her mother Krissita Bovell are appealing to the public for financial help in paying for urgent surgery.
Justina Sobers and her mother Krissita Bovell are appealing to the public for financial help in paying for urgent surgery.

Yesterday, during an interview with Barbados TODAY at her Edey Village, Christ Church home, Justina, who has been in severe pain in recent months, appealed to the public for any monetary contribution towards the cost of surgery she desperately needs to remove a lump from her neck, caused by her existing health condition.

“I really want help. I am feeling depressed, especially if someone eats in front of me and has solid foods; because I can’t have any.

“I am weak, because nothing is staying down,” said the former Frederick Smith Secondary student who ironically aspires to be a chef.

Justina was diagnosed with achalasia, a rare disorder that affects the ability of the oesophagus to move food into the stomach, and of swallowing. If left untreated patients eventually develop lung cancer.

The surgery this teenager is seeking will cost about $30, 000, and would be performed by Dr Philip Sahle Griffith, on private admission to the BayView Medical Centre.

The official letter showing the estimated cost of  Justina Sobers’ planned surgery.
The official letter showing the estimated cost of Justina Sobers’ planned surgery.

Justina’s mother Krissita Bovell is also lending her voice to the plea for donations, as she is just as desperate in seeing her daughter out of such pain and discomfort.

She said that, as a mum, it was not easy to watch her child struggling to breathe at times, suffering chest pains, muscle spasms, headaches and an overall weakness that accompanied the disorder.

“I don’t really sleep any more, because I am up waiting to hear her cough, and making sure she’s breathing.

Bovell, who also has a younger child, explained that Justina’s ordeal began last October when a lump appeared on her neck.

“She wasn’t swallowing and she kept choking all the time. Then the lump came up and every time she tried to eat something solid she would be hitting her chest and choking.

“When she tried to sleep at nights, I could stay in another room a good distance from her and hear her breathing like how an asthmatic would breathe, because the disease builds mucus,” the mother detailed, as her hoarse daughter sat beside her coughing uncontrollably.

The 36-year-old mother, who works in the marketing industry, says her financial status won’t allow her to pay for the surgery. And so in an effort to raise the funds, she has been sending letters to businesses asking for contributions. The family has even created a Facebook page –– Justina Sobers Fighting Achalasia. But these efforts have not been successful.

And the surgery, scheduled for tomorrow, March 25, has had to be postponed for lack of the necessary funds.

“The surgeries are usually successful,” said Justina’s mother, but there is a chance the teen may yet need additional surgery.

The surgeon said that after the surgery Justina might not be able to eat for three to six months as she went on the mend. She would have to remain on her no-solid food diet,  the mother divulged.

These supplements make up Justina Sobers’ current diet, as she suffers from a rare disorder that affects the ability of the oesophagus  to move food into the stomach . . . .
These supplements make up Justina Sobers’ current diet, as she suffers from a rare disorder that affects the ability of the oesophagus to move food into the stomach . . . .

Persons interested in making a donation towards the cost of Justina’s surgery may do so through an account opened in her name at Republic Bank –– No. 052906511001.

anestahenry@barbadostoday.bb

13 Responses to Hurting Justina seeking help with $30,000 op

  1. Neka Carter
    Neka Carter March 24, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    So sad…… come on ppl let’s get together and help her

    Reply
  2. Neka Carter
    Neka Carter March 24, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    How do I donate?

    Reply
    • Justice For All March 25, 2015 at 11:44 am

      Persons interested in making a donation towards the cost of Justina’s surgery may do so through an account opened in her name at Republic Bank –– No. 052906511001.

      Reply
  3. kim jemmott March 24, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Come on Barbados,lets make this happen for on of our children. A small donation and her surgery is covered.

    Reply
  4. Jimmy Bishop
    Jimmy Bishop March 24, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I really don’t understand our health care system … Don’t we have free health care? If so, why isn’t it working? Why can’t she for example get that life saving surgery?
    Is it the surgeon fee?
    Why bayview and those expenses…. Doesn’t QEH have a theater… Don’t QEH have anesthesiologist?
    If money is the problem from government, why is government spending millions in buildings (BWA for eg.) health care is a NEED .
    Barbados is becoming a place where only the rich can survive (healthcare wise)
    Anyhow, I guess that is SYSTEM for yah.
    I will be making my donation tomorrow for this cause.
    Justina, your a young and beautiful person, and like anyone else, you deserve this chance. May God be with you .

    Reply
  5. Vaunie Bovell March 24, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    persons residing overseas who wish to make a donation can do so at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/achalasia-fight/322378. this will go directly to the paypal account of her mother Krissita Bovell. Thanks for your concerns and contributions. Also, for persons questioning the pulic health system the surgery is only performed by Doctor Griffith in Barbados.

    Reply
  6. Ville March 25, 2015 at 12:10 am

    $30,000.00 in Barbados? Wow very expensive. will see how I can help

    Reply
  7. Robyn March 25, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Is it possible to set up a go fund me page for Justina? This way more people will be able to help out, she may even get aid from outside of Barbados since the page will be accessible to more people.

    Reply
  8. krissita March 25, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Hi thanks for all the support anyone who wishes to contribute outside of Barbados can do so by going to http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/achalasia-fight/322378 or by western union or Money Gram or to the name Justina Sobers or krissita Bovell. Contact for further details like address etc at 246-838-0923 if need be thanks.
    http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/achalasia-fight/322378

    Reply
  9. Carol Ann Vogt-Ince March 25, 2015 at 11:45 am

    I will donate but People in barbados Must Understand that all Operation can not go on The welfare Systems and i am from Barbados but live abroad and Ihave to pay Health Insurance so it Is about time that barbadians realise that The Goverment cannot afford to pay for everything. I dont Understand with all The millionars and companies in Barbados why Is that such an big if People like for instinct The Massey ,Ramm ,The Hotels The Big Restaurant if they donated 1000bds which you can easily claim on your Tax Form so in the end they are not losing anything. I must say I wishes Justina all the best and I hope that there are people out there who will help.
    P.S it’s about time that barbarians realizes that things have change in life and their cannot any more expect things to handed out for free.

    Reply
  10. john March 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    my question is where is Lime,digicel,courts,flow, Bico and BHL as these should be the key players who should come together and contribute to this cause, especially Bico who made millions in profits as this is her main daily food and DHL Holdings Limited as these are mostly the products she will need for over a year. Come on guys we need to see contributions from you guys to this cause.

    Reply
  11. Louise Maynard March 30, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Let’s get together …. I once read about a community that all stood together in a similar situation and they all put down between $1-5 each and the person got the operation because nobody had to pay all but everyone contributed to helping and it was beautiful to see them stand together and safe a life.
    Why can’t we do that and safe this girls life and in the future help each other and safe many lives in the future.
    I’m definitely donating money to this girl.
    All my prayers goes to you.

    Reply
  12. Dale Rudder April 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Come on guys…Lets help this young girl out. I’m onboard for whatever in whatever way I can help. Lets do this !!

    Reply

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