Young mother needs heart surgery

May 02, 2018
Jhenae Simpson and her son Zayne.
Jhenae Simpson

Last December, shortly after giving birth to her son, Zayne, Jhenae Simpson, 21, was told she had a murmur in her chest.

"I didn't have any complications during pregnancy. After I had the baby and I was in the recovery room, they started to remove the oxygen and my stats started to fall, so I was admitted to the high dependency unit for three days," the University of Technology student told THE STAR.

Two days later, when she did a chest X-ray and an echocardiogram, she learnt the extent of her illness.

"The X-ray showed that I had fluid around my lungs and that two of my valves were damaged," she explained.

Her illness was diagnosed as severe mistral valve stenosis, which occurs when an abnormal valve doesn't open properly, blocking blood flow into the main pumping chamber of the heart.




Simpson was shocked as she had never had rheumatic fever, asthma, or any of the symptoms before.

Now, fatigue, shortness of breath and joint pain with fever are some of the problems that she experiences on a regular basis.

"The doctors are saying that I had it from birth and my body adjusted to it ,so that's why I did not see any symptoms," she told THE STAR.

Simpson had to stop taking medication prescribed to control her illness because her blood pressure started to fall.

However, she urgently needs a valve replacement surgery to rectify the problem.

But she must pay US$3,000 to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), where the procedure will be done.

She said doctors told her that when the money is paid, she can do the surgery within a month. The total cost will be around J$800,000.

"If it is not done, I am going to have heart failure. Right now, they say that the regular blood flow is about 50 to 55 per cent, and I am at 71 per cent because of all the issues on the left side of my heart. They don't want the right side to go into failure, so they want me to do the surgery as soon as possible," Simpson added.

Simpson has launched a GoFundMe account, trying to raise US$6,000. But she has only raised US$550 so far.

She has written letters to various foundations to ask for help and is even printing walkathon sheets, which she hands out to ask persons to assist.

Now, she is appealing to the wider public to help, "even if it is just prayers".

"Right now, it is my mommy majority of the pressure is on, so any form of assistance would be OK," Simpson said.

Persons wishing to assist, may contact Simpson at (876) 574-2421 or donate to her GoFundMe account:

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