Sickle cell never stopped me

June 20, 2017
Tyrone Wilson

Despite being diagnosed with sickle cell at age four, Tyrone Wilson's life hasn't been short of action, although he has to avoid getting involved in strenuous activities.

But things have worked out quite nicely for Wilson, despite his health issues. Wilson is the founder, CEO, and president of eMedia Interactive Group Limited, a digital media company responsible for the video production of TV shows such as The Innovators and Doctor's Appointment as well as a myriad of TV commercials.

Wilson was selected as one of the '50UnderFifty Business Leaders Shaping Jamaica's Future' by the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and The Jamaica Gleaner, in celebration of Jamaica's 50th year of Independence.

He also received the Caribbean Journal's Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2012.

While growing up, high-energy activities such as sports and going to the beach or any endeavour that meant he had to be wet for too long were a no-no.

"It kinda put you in a situation where you had to be more cautious than the average individual," said the 31-year-old entrepreneur.




Breathing problems, joint pains and abdominal pains are some of the symptoms that he regularly suffers from.

"I experience them less often now than when I was in my teens, but as you get older, the symptoms of sickle cell change," he said.

Both his parents had the sickle cell trait and he knew he had full-blown sickle cell. But in 2014, he discovered that his sickle cell was milder than he had previously thought.

That same year though, he suffered what he considered his worst crisis, describing it as life-threatening.

He admitted that treating sickle cell in Jamaica is not costly but the challenge is treating the disorders that come with it.

"Just the other day, I helped a young man who had sickle cell. I found a wheelchair for him because his mother couldn't afford the special type he wanted. He had suffered several strokes at a young age so now he is not able to walk, not able to talk, or do anything. His entire future was snatched away from him. It will take a lot of physiotherapy for him to stand up for himself," he said.

Although having sickle cell meant it hindered his participation in some activities, Wilson said it never distracted him from his career goals.

"I never saw myself as an athlete, but what I am doing now is what I actually wanted to do from I have known myself, which is to be an entrepreneur. So sickle cell hasn't stopped me from achieving my career goals," he told THE STAR.

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