Sharefa’s pain

Daughter's cyst tears at the heart of schizophrenic mother

At ten years old, Sharefa Gooding is a shadow of who she was just three years ago. The Lawrence T Gay Memorial Primary student was diagnosed with a cyst on her liver in 2014, and within three years it has grown bigger than a cricket ball in size.

Daily, Sharefa experiences excruciating pain in her abdomen, limiting her inability to eat or play freely, as any ten-year-old girl should.

In the last school term alone, the Class Three student missed 49 days due to her illness. Unable to take her medication on the school premises, her mother Trina Gooding has resorted to taking care of her daughter at their Alleyne’s Land, Bush Hall, St Michael home.

Trina Gooding (centre) says both she and her son Lamar King (right) are tormented by the screams of her daughter Sharefa Gooding (left) when she is experiencing incomprehensible bouts of pain.

Life is already quite tough for the unemployed mother as it is. She suffers from schizophrenia and also has to take care of her 15-year-old son who exhibits suicidal tendencies.

“I’m getting tired of seeing her in pain all the time, it’s stressing me out,” Gooding told Barbados TODAY.

“When she is in here and having pains, I wait till she goes to sleep and I start to cry myself, because there is no one else to help me.”

The 34-year-old mother has lost count of the number of nights over the past three years that she has had to comfort her daughter as she screamed through the agonizing pain much too severe to bear, or the number of times she has had to take Sharefa to the Accident & Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in a desperate search for relief.

“She would start screaming out, grabbing onto my hand and whatever she can grab onto, until the pain goes away . . . .

“I took her to Accident & Emergency Old Year’s night, she stayed til the New Year’s morning,” Gooding recounted.

The primary school student currently takes Cataflam and Panadol to control the pain, as well as medicine for her severe acid reflux and allergies. She was also taking morphine injections, but that was quickly discontinued due to the side effects such as dizziness, incoherent speech and nervousness, the mother said.

In addition to the cyst on her liver, Sharefa suffers from scoliosis and upper gastro-intestinal bleeding. So terrified is she of the pain, she has virtually stopped eating.

“She wasn’t this size, the cyst got her sucked away,” her despondent mother said.

Sharefa’s older brother, who has frequent fits, often worries about his sister and cannot understand why she has not had surgery, the mother said.

“Sometimes when he sees her in pain, he starts worrying and crying and he does be wondering why they won’t be doing the surgery for his sister. It does be hard,” the mother of two said.

Sharefa was scheduled to have surgery earlier this week, but it has since been rescheduled to March after it was initially postponed to next week.

However, whenever it is held, it will not come soon enough for the ten-year-old and her despairing mum.

“She was supposed to see the surgeon [Wednesday] but they cancelled it to next week, and they called me again and told me it’s cancelled to March 29th at 2 p.m. So I asked them what to do with her and all the pain? The woman told me [take her to] Accident & Emergency,” Gooding reported.

“She has to bear pains all til down in March and that isn’t fair.”

Unable to work, Gooding must rely on a $90 cheque from the Welfare Department, far from enough to pay for utilities, purchase the basic necessities and cover the medical costs.   

However, she told Barbados TODAY friends and concerned neighbours have been chipping in to help cover the children’s medical fees.

“I don’t even have bus fare to get down [to the doctor]. I does have to use money from my neighbours, sometimes my boyfriend would give me money,” Gooding remarked.

Virtually overwhelmed by her burdens, Gooding simply wants her daughter to live a normal life once again, like she did just three short years ago.

“My main thing is doing that for her to get back her normal school life . . . . She just wants it to be over because she misses school and misses her friends,” the mother said.

katrinaking@barbadostoday.bb

8 Responses to Sharefa’s pain

  1. Sherene Drakes-Seales
    Sherene Drakes-Seales January 21, 2017 at 12:37 am

    This is really sad, no child deserves to go through pain. This is a family in turmoil. All three of them have their individual challenges. Hopefully some philanthropic or charitable person/s will read your plight and offer assistance. I still have faith in humanity stay strong.

    Reply
  2. Alexia Marshall
    Alexia Marshall January 21, 2017 at 1:42 am

    What is the reason for the delay? Until March can seem like a lifetime to that child

    Reply
  3. Andrew Jordan January 21, 2017 at 2:36 am

    wow, How can I help this family, especially the little ones.
    Please email me at xstreamservices@gmail.com or call 850-6530. I don’t have much, but I will do what I can to help. I can buy a set of medication that can ease the pain until the child have the operation. I will lift her up in prayer.

    Reply
  4. Carla January 21, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Alot of people don’t know this but if you contact a Liver Hospital in England or a hospital with that specialist area you can access the treatment free or cost. please look into it. it could not hurt to try. I know someone who did and is alive today.

    Reply
  5. Andrew Jordan January 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Please help this small Family.
    I went to visit this family and this child is a sweetheart.
    I am appealing to ALL to help in some small way.

    Reply
  6. Don Brown February 9, 2017 at 1:04 am

    There is an organisation based in the United Kingdom that helps Caribbean children in desperate need of specialist medical treatment. The organisation have assisted a child in St Vincent by paying the full cost of the child’s treatment which she received in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Caribbean Aid may be able to help financially.

    http://www.caribbeanaid.organisation. uk

    http://www.iwnsvg.com/2016/09/11/uk-based-organisation-pays-medical-bill-for-st-vincent-toddler/

    Reply
    • Y BARROW April 8, 2017 at 1:35 am

      The M P’s are getting big bucks, why can they assist this family

      Reply
  7. Don Brown February 9, 2017 at 1:05 am

    There is an organisation based in the United Kingdom that helps Caribbean children in desperate need of specialist medical treatment. The organisation have assisted a child in St Vincent by paying the full cost of the child’s treatment which she received in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Caribbean Aid may be able to help financially.

    http://www.caribbeanaid.org.uk

    http://www.iwnsvg.com/2016/09/11/uk-based-organisation-pays-medical-bill-for-st-vincent-toddler/

    Reply

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