BROKEN SPIRITS - Former university student seeks help for medical procedures
What started out as a normal day for 26-year-old Khadeja Smith in 2018, ended up changing her life forever. The young woman who, at the time, worked as a brand ambassador for a major local manufacturing company, said she was on her way to work one morning when her right leg gave way and she fell to the ground.
"I was on the floor for about 30 minutes in pain. I couldn't get up and when I got up, I realised I couldn't flex my knees at all," Smith said.
"When I was taken to the doctor I did an X-ray and MRI; it showed that the meniscus (cartilage between shin bone and thigh bone) was torn and I had a patellar subluxations , which meant that my knee cap was dislocated to the side," she added.
Smith said her doctor also advised her that her knee cap is very small and the ligaments in the knee had been degenerating over the years. However, prior to the incident, Smith said she had no knowledge of this and led a normal life.
"I started my bachelor's degree in marketing and I was also doing a course in phlebotomy and was about to start a course in nursing, but I had to drop out of school because I couldn't work anymore and there was no money," she said.
Fast forward to 2021 and Smith is desperately trying to raise money for reconstructive surgery on her knee, which costs J$1.9 million.
"I was supposed to do the surgery in September but unfortunately, because I am not working anymore, I wasn't able to accumulate the funds," she said.
While she awaits reconstructive surgery, Smith has resorted to short fixes and is hoping that help will come her way.
"I wear a post-operative knee brace that stretches from my thigh to my ankle to stabilise my knee and I walk with a cane or crutches from time to time at my home. But because of where the knee cap is sitting, I get lots of pain, similar to an arthritis patient. Most of the time I am laying down because I can't stand or sit for long periods," she said.
The young woman is also battling a condition called hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid doesn't create and release enough thyroid hormone into the bloodstream.
"I was getting fluctuating blood pressure, I was dizzy, my hair was thinning out, and I was gaining a lot of weight, among other complications. I was rushed to the hospital one night because my heart rate was too high and that's how I found out I have the condition," Smith said.
The young woman, who is experiencing irregular heartbeat, said that she has been told that if her thyroid function is not addressed, her health can be further undermined.
"I come from a blood line of relatives who have had cancer and due to the fact that my thyroid is underworking, cancer cells can be developed...I need to do a blood test and ultrasound for my thyroid so a treatment plan can be recommended," she said.
The struggling woman said she has tried to find a job to assist in covering her medical bills, which includes a monthly tab of $28,000 for medication. However, she has been unsuccessful.
"Some days I get up and I see my condition and I really feel like giving up. There are mornings when I get up and I ask God to put me back to sleep, because it can get overwhelming... But I am putting everything in God's hands," Smith said.
"I just want to be able to get back to the stage where I can work and accomplish my dreams. At my age, even with the pandemic, if I was healthy I would be out there working, doing anything I can. Being healthy gives me a second chance to start over and I really need that," she added.
Khadeja Smith my be contacted via telephone at (876) 424-3042, (876) 358-1515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations may be made to
National Comercial Bank
Khadejah C. Smith
Savings Account number #: 504655989