Strange illness keeps teen out of school
Fifteen-year-old Shemar Heslop was preparing to go back to school in September, when he fell ill.
The student of Ascot High School would have been entering fourth form at the institution, but instead he has been at the University Hospital of the West Indies for more than two weeks.
His mother, Karen Heslop, told THE STAR that Shemar woke up and felt ill one morning before school started.
"He had vomiting, nausea and can't walk properly. And when we took him to doctor the morning, they said he had vertigo (dizzy spells). He left the hospital and was home for a week," Heslop said.
After being home for some time, his mother thought his condition was improving. But this was not so.
She said that they were visiting the school to find out which class he would be placed in, when he felt ill and had to be rushed to the hospital a second time.
"They do a CT-scan on him and they realised that there was a blood clot in his back, so we rush with him to UWI [University Hospital of the West Indies], and they did a MRI there and found out a little bit more about it," she said.
Heslop said the doctors requested a meeting with her before disclosing the cause of his illness. But she said that they have indicated that a stroke may be at the root of the problem.
However, the operation that he requires can't be done in Jamaica.
"The doctors at UWI said where it (the blood clot) is located, it is very difficult to do the surgery out here, so we have to take him overseas," she said.
In the meantime, they have identified a facility in Canada, where the operation can be done. However, they are seeking the assistance of the public to help cover the cost for him to travel to Canada.
"I am trying to fill out some paperworks so that we can get the surgery done at a reduced cost, but I am not sure that they will grant me that part of it. And if they are not going to grant me that part of it, then I know what the cost will be like without it," Heslop told THE STAR.
Before the illness, Heslop said Shemar, who loves to cook, was active and friendly.
"He was so jolly, and I can't believe this cause he had no complaint, and now he can hardly walk," she said.
Having lost her father just a week ago, she said she avoids getting emotional around her sick son.
"I can't cry let him see because I have to be strong cause I don't want him to feel hurt. Them say if it bleed back again, he could die. So, I try my best not to break down in front of him," she said.