RURAL EXPRESS - A mother's cry for help as she fights for her life
Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer
Two months after the birth of her son, in 2008, Kimberley Anderson was jolted by an acute, crippling pain in the back of her neck. With the onset of an unexplained seizure, she was rushed to the May Pen Hospital. Six weeks later, she woke up at the Kingston Public Hospital, where she was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation or AVM.
Six years to the date of her first attack, and after a recent run-in with the chikungunya virus, the 31-year-old former store clerk is again struck by another attack of the potentially fatal condition (AVM), and is again fighting for her life.
In explaining what AVM is, and the seriousness of the condition, Anderson, who is now stricken with stroke-like symptoms and severe pains, says AVM, in layman's term, is an abnormal tangling of the blood vessels, and can occur in the brain or in the spine, and when they bleed, inflict severe pain.
However, because of the complexities of her particular AVM condition, 'Kim' will have to undergo an immediate brain surgery in the United States or Canada that will run her in the region of US$60,000 (approximately J$6 million) for hospital accommodation alone, or she might have to say goodbye to her loved ones.
"I want to live to see my son grow up to live a normal life ... but I can hardly afford my monthly medical bills much less J$6 million. That is a lot of money for me to find at this time," Anderson said, as she ambled around her Paisley Avenue house in May Pen.
"Every week, I have to find $15,000 or $60,000 a month just for medications and other medical care, so if I am struggling with $60,000, how am I going find the $6 million to go overseas for this surgery?" she asked, shaking her head.
However, while she is reluctantly appealing for financial assistance to underwrite the cost associated with the surgery, she is also busy arranging a fundraising luncheon to be held this Saturday, and has strategically placed cans all over May Pen.
"This isn't something I want to do, but I am appealing for persons to assist me with the fees for the surgery by making contributions to my Victoria Mutual account, (4004-04-844) and/or come and support the luncheon this Saturday at the Paisley's playing field," she said.
"I try to use Facebook to bring awareness about this serious complication and, of course, try to raise some funds to help with the cost. But I got some remarks saying 'a dead you must dead gal', so I took it down," Anderson said.