Woman pleads with UHWI for facial surgery

April 05, 2022
Simone Gordon
Simone Gordon

Plagued by a life of pain brought on by an irregular growth in her jaw, Simone Gordon is pleading with officials at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) to set a date for her facial reconstructive surgery.

Gordon, 32, says that three years ago after she noticed her face started to swell unnaturally, a doctor confirmed that she had a bone growing incorrectly in her jaw.

"From my understanding, dem say to me it wasn't a tumour. Like dem say is a broken bone and dem affi go take piece of my hip bone and put it back inna me jawbone. It name a facial reconstruction. So me teeth dem will be removed, and dem a go put in implant and screws," she said.

Gordon says she thought finding the money for surgery would have been the hardest part, but through donations and other acts of kindness she was able to finance it.

"Mi get donation from Peter Phillips, mi get donation from Ministry of Health [and Wellness]. Mi go up there and dem gi me the last payment weh did fi pay up there," she said.

The Spanish Town, St Catherine resident told THE STAR that her surgery was scheduled for March 1, 2021, but was postponed due to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced hospitals to reschedule elective surgeries.

"From dat me nuh hear back nothing from dem," Gordon said.

As she waits for her surgery, Gordon said that her pain and discomfort are increasing.

"Sometimes mi head really hurt me. Me not even can sleep good 'cause me nuh wah roll over pon di jaw. You see when me roll over pon di jaw and mi wake, mi pillow full a blood. Di gum double swell, mi cyah eat nothing. Mi affi change mi diet. Mi cyah eat dumpling, mi cyah eat chicken, mi cyah eat certain things. Mi affi a live pon like Ensure, Supligen, crushed Irish [potato], dem something deh, and it expensive," she said.

Gordon noted that parts of her face, particularly below her eye and ears, have started to swell as well.

"Mi haffi take time brush mi teeth. No matter if a di baby toothbrush dem mi buy fi brush di corner teeth dem, it can't work. Sometime me play wid di pickney dem, and even if mi jump too hard it start hurt me. It sad to say, but sometime mi affi drink rum or dem sumn deh fi gah mi bed fi get one good sleep," she said.

Secondary to her physical well-being, Gordon says her confidence has taken a hit as well.

"Mi always a tell people seh, have confidence ina yuh self, no matter how you look, 'cause me nuh wah dem see my deep hurt. But then again, me a tell you seh sometime mi lose it. One a di time mi never did a come out a mi house fi actually one year. Mi was like a alien, because me afraid fi go outside. Pikney usually see mi face and cry, and a pickney weh me know before dem even come outta belly. Sometime people say, 'be strong'. Mi strong, but me tell yuh sometime mi lose faith," she said.

Gordon says she has waited long enough and is pleading with officials at the hospital to allow her to get her surgery.

Contacted for comment, Nordia Francis-Williams, manager, public relations and communication at the UHWI, said the hospital is "starting to increase elective surgeries," and suggested that Gordon contact her consultant at the clinic to have her procedure scheduled.

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