Banana Ground mother needs $1.7 million surgery

March 16, 2017
Claudia Vassell

Ever since Claudia Vassell contracted chikungunya in 2014, her health has been failing.

The 36-year-old is now suffering with rheumatic heart disease with moderate mitral stenosis, and is in dire need for financial assistance to undergo a major medical procedure.

Mitral stenosis is the narrowing of the mitral valve in the heart, which restricts the flow of blood through the valve.

In the case of Vassell, the left valve is blocked and requires her to have open-heart surgery, the cost of which doctors put at $1.7 million.

"She does not have a father," Vassell's mother, Anneth Carter, told THE STAR.




"Her father died 13 years ago. She has two children, both attending high school, and I am the only breadwinner for all of them, and I am just a household helper," Carter said.

She told THE STAR that the $1.7 million price tag for the surgery was quoted by the University Hospital of the West Indies.

"We don't have the money, and so we have to wait until we come up with something," Carter said.

Vassell and her mother both live in Banana Ground, Manchester, a community famous for producing athletes Nesta Carter and Elaine Thompson.

Vassell's daughter obtained eight passes at the Caribbean Examinations Council, and four in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, and is currently in upper sixth form, while her son is in Grade 10. Both children attend high school in Clarendon.

"The daughter takes it very hard. Sometimes she cannot go to school, she has to stay home with her because of financial difficulty and the illness," Carter said.

She told THE STAR that Vassell suffered two strokes since 2015, the second of which severely impacted her ability to hear and speak.

Carter is appealing to whomever can assist their cause to contact her at 791-3354.

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