Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Elizabeth Francis wishing on a star...Mother needs help to do urgent surgery

Published:Saturday | December 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Elizabeth Francis in desperate need of funds for surgery.
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LONGVILLE PARK, Clarendon:

n school mornings, it's a daily ritual for Elizabeth Francis to accompany her 10-year-old daughter to the taxi stand to get transportation to school.

Unless Francis can come up with 80 per cent of $960,000 by January 7, 2016, to do a surgery at the University Hospital of the West Indies, then she might not be able to see to enjoy simple tasks.

Francis is in for the fight of her life, and she cannot afford to give in to despair. One look at her two daughters, and whatever feeling of panic she has must be curtailed to provide the solace they need.

She is faced with a growing pituitary brain tumour which, if not dealt with, can result in her being blind in both eyes, and eventually lead to death.

The Longville Park resident told Family and Religion that she is more scared for her two children than she is for herself.

"I am feeling scared because of my two girls one is 10 and the other is 16. I am the sole provider for them, and if anything should happen to me, I don't know what's going to happen to them," she said, unable to hide her emotions at the thought.

Francis' nightmare started earlier this year after contracting the chikungunya virus. She started experiencing severe pain in her left eye and got medication. The symptom was relieved temporarily, but it came back. Her doctor started treating her for dry eyes, but after experiencing blurred vision, Francis sought further medical attention.

The assumption was then made that maybe her glasses needed changing. After getting a new pair of glasses, she still could not see properly. Several tests later, such as a computerised tomography (CT) scan, there was still nothing to indicate what was causing the blurred vision and pain in her eye.

MRIRESULTS

Finally, an MRI was suggested. The results revealed that she has mass in several areas of her brain.

Almost close to tears, Francis said she has depleted all her funds to do the very expensive tests.

"Please, I am appealing to anyone out there who can help me to do this surgery. I am counting on your compassion to make it happen. It doesn't matter the amount, as I believe it will all add up," she said.

A dressmaker by profession, Francis said she is trying her best to work to offset some of her expenses, but the problem with her eye makes it hard for her to get clients.

"There are times I have to stop as the pain in my eyes and the blurriness in my vision makes it impossible to go on," Francis lamented.

According to her, if she doesn't get to do the surgery, she cannot think about the repercussions as the tumour has already spread beyond her optic nerve.

"I have not given up hope for a miracle. I cannot afford to expect anything less. I am hoping my story will touch some hearts that will see fit to help me continue to be the loving mother I am to my children," she said.

Those who wish to help her can make donations to her account 10109083 at the Jamaica National Building Society or call her at

387-3322.

She has created a fundraising account on fundly.com/elizabeth-s-surgery-fund.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com