Mon | Oct 22, 2018

A mother’s commitment to her son

Published:Saturday | December 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Heather and son, Darjour.
Heather McDonald and her son, Dajour.

Heather McDonald's son, 18-year-old Dajour, means the world to her, so you can imagine her distress when, in his early teens, he was diagnosed with infirmities that she didn't even know existed.

The mother of two told Family and Religion that she noticed that her son was having muscle contracts since he was three years old and although she found it strange, doctors told her it was nothing to worry about, recommending regular glasses of coconut water.

She said the contractions continued until 2009, when Dajour came down with a high fever. She took him to the Bustamante Hospital for Children for a checkup.

"The doctor first told me he had a virus. After one week giving him the cold medicine, some rash came up on him. The doctor maintained that it was a virus, so I told him to run some tests on him because something in his body was not right.

"They checked for lupus and it came back negative," she said, adding that they were sent home with cold and fever medicines.

McDonald said that she obeyed the doctor's orders and administered the medications, but her son's condition didn't change.

It was then that she contacted her private doctor, who also worked at the Children's Hospital.

According to McDonald, the said doctor looked up her son's file and found out that his test results showed that he had rheumatoid arthritis.

Dajour's condition kept getting worse as he was later diagnosed with lumber scoliosis, Crohn's disease, pancreatitis, and appendicitis pyelonephritis and has since been made to do numerous tests and surgeries locally and abroad.

The distraught yet faithful single mother told Family and Religion that she has had to risk a lot to support her son, losing her job in the process.

McDonald, who worships at the Fellowship Tabernacle Church in Kingston, explained that when she couldn't afford the treatment anymore, she scripted a letter and walked to various institutions seeking assistance.

Since then, she said that the gospel and family radio station, Love101 responded to her plea and has been making regular donations.

The station, which will be hosting an event called Experience the Love: Kingston Grand Market and Gospel Concert and has pledged part proceeds to aid the family.

According to McDonald: "The contribution will help to continue his tests, treatments, therapy, accommodation, airfare, and other expenses overseas for his follow-up appointments."

The event, which will be held on December 23 at The Academy in New Kingston is to feature a one-stop shopping village for pre-Christmas shopping and a concert featuring top gospel acts including Chevelle Franklyn, Marion Hall, and Prodigal Son.

Part proceeds of the event will also support the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre in Mona.




McDonald is pleading to the public to help in whatever way they can, whether through direct donations or through support of the event, which she says is only $1,000.

"Also, whatever help others can give whether prayers, encouragement, motivation, teaching, inspiration, and blessings, God bless you all. I am very determined to help my son out of his pain and sleepless nights. I also want him to get well enough so he can fulfill his dream," she said.

NB: Donations can be made to The Dajour McDonald Special Fund, Acc# 134164905