Fri | Aug 18, 2017

A father's cry: Joseph Lewin needs help to finance daughter's surgery

Published:Thursday | May 5, 2016 | 5:00 AMShanique Samuels
Joseph Lewin with his daughter Ieisha.

Joseph Lewin is desperately trying to raise the approximately $750,000 to cover the cost of correcting his daughter's worsening scoliosis problem.

Fourteen-year-old Ieisha Lewin was diagnosed with a severe form of the illness three years ago after her father noticed an unusual curve in her torso.

"One day, I noticed she had a slight bend in her back and when I looked a little closer, I realised it no look right, so I took her to the May Pen Hospital, where they told me she had mild scoliosis.

Next, they send us to Mandeville Hospital, and by the time we reached KPH (Kingston Public Hospital), they told me she had severe scoliosis.

"I was frightened when I was told she had scoliosis as I had an idea what it was, because I saw it on TV. Then, I started thinking a million things and couldn't find an answer fi one because I know in my current financial situation, I wouldn't be able to manage it," Lewin told Rural Xpress.

He said since then, he has been to several places seeking help to raise the money to do her surgery. "That sum of money is a steep hurdle when you don't have any at all to begin with," he said, with a look of distress plastered across his face.

We have gone through a lot of processes, done X-rays, scans and tests, and have been to many doctors and specialists. The bone doctor told us what the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it, and said when we get the funding, we must come back to him," he said, adding that Ieisha will also need six people to donate blood for her. "That's the easy part because people already volunteer, but the money part a beat mi bad. Mi no have a clue where fi start fi come up wid so much money," said Lewin.

He is a clothes vendor in the May Pen Market, but does other 'juggling'. "I have two other children to send to school, and so my likkle earnings won't add up to cover the cost to make her better. The likkle money I make now is just to school them and buy food. I can't even save a dollar for the surgery," he lamented.

Ieisha is only allowed to take one book to school and would do anything to be a part of the school's track team, which she had given up after discovering she was ill

It does not prevent her from going to school, but she endures a lot of pain and sometimes it gets unbearable. She has got so used to painkillers that it no longer helps with the pain. "I feel terrible back pains and when it hurts, I can't do anything I just have to lie down, and sometimes I worry about it," she said.

Anyone willing to assist Lewin can contact him at 529-9507.

rural@gleanerjm.com