Preteen battles Lupus

February 08, 2019
 Ian Allen
Merdylyn Williams (left) interacts with her daughter, Selena Williams, during a visit to THE STAR’s office yesterday.
Ian Allen Merdylyn Williams (left) interacts with her daughter, Selena Williams, during a visit to THE STAR’s office yesterday.

In a few weeks, Selena Williams will sit the Primary Exit Profile exams. She has her eyes on getting a place at The Queen's School. The 12-year-old sports a bubbly personality and grins widely as she speaks about her dreams of becoming a teacher or an air hostess in a few years.

However, behind those smiles, the preteen is battling a chronic illness, lupus, which has caused her to be in and out of the hospital. Her mother, Merdylyn Williams, said she is broken and is seeking the public's assistance to find the $600,000 that is needed to purchase her daughter's medication, which is urgently needed.

"I will be hosting a fish fry soon but I know that I will not raise enough money to fill the prescription, so I am asking anyone reading this article to just contribute towards her medication, no matter how small it is. Please keep us in your prayers as well. She is a brilliant girl, and I want to see her healthy again. The medication will last her for the year and will help her a lot, but I just can't afford it right now," she said.

Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks, normal, healthy tissue. Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs.

Williams said Selena became ill last October, but she initially thought it was jaundice.

EYES CHANGED COLOUR

"I knew something was wrong when I saw her eyes change colour to yellow. I thought it was jaundice. Before that, we had lived on Station Road in Old Harbour, and she was slim. When we relocated to another scheme, I noticed she had gained a lot of weight, and I was always telling her that the new home 'gree' with her. Afterwards, she started complaining about being tired, and I thought she was just being lazy because she wasn't complaining about feeling any pain. I really never realise that all this time she was sick until I see her eyes change colour," she said.

"Mi get a call from the doctor, who said me should carry her in to Children's Hospital (the Bustamante Hospital for Children) and she got a blood transfusion there and [doctors] did several tests on her. The results came back that she have lupus and my body felt numb same time because I wasn't expecting that at all. From that, she out a school a lot of times because she keep on falling ill. Sometimes she up, and another time, she is down. Sometimes even three times out of the month she is at the clinic or admitted," Williams added.

Despite her medical condition, young Selena remains upbeat and stated that she is confident that she will do extremely well in her upcoming exams.

"I have memory problems since being sick, so sometimes I have to record my teacher when he or she is speaking. My teacher said I am picking up really well. I did some tests the other day and I thought I didn't know the answers, but I get them all right, so I think I will really do really well in my exams," she said.

Persons wishing to assist Selena may contact her mother at 876-344-4099.

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