A father's dedication - Man pleads for assistance in caring for sick daughter
As the Easter season approaches, it is a stark reminder of the day Sebert Williamson's 13-year-old daughter Shenieka's life went downhill with her fighting to live.
Good Friday, after coming from church, Williamson offered her something to drink. She took one sip and fainted.
The frightened father said he only had time to call on the name of the Lord, before rushing her to the Chapelton Hospital in Clarendon.
She was soon transferred to the May Pen Hospital.
The only sign he had that his daughter was not too well was the headaches she was having a week before, for which he gave her painkillers.
"When she fainted, I saw death on her," he said of his daughter, a seventh grader at Denbigh High School at the time.
Shenieka was transferred from the May Pen Hospital to Kingston Public Hospital, where she remained in intensive care for five months after being diagnosed with meningitis.
"That meant either my wife or myself had to make the daily trek to Kingston, and each time we take the journey from Woodhall (North Clarendon), we are looking at between $3-4,000," Williamson told The Gleaner.
LEARNING TO WALK AND TALK
Last October, he thought he had a reason to smile when Sheneika was sent home, but she had breathing issues and had to be readmitted and had to have a tracheal tube inserted.
Now a patient at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre, she is learning to walk and talk.
"She has come a long way. Still can't speak, but she can write," said a grateful Williamson.
The daily trek to Kingston over the year has taken its toll on the family's resources and it's for that reason that he is now reaching out for some assistance.
"She is the youngest of my children. The others who are now grown help when they can, but they have their own families now and challenges too," he said, even as he thanks the Lord for his church family and others who assist from time to time.
Williamson recently made an appointment for his daughter at the Caribbean Hearing centre for an ear examination, a procedure which will attract a cost of $16,000. By faith, he hopes to foot the bill when the time comes.
"That's just one of my daily challenges. I still have prescriptions to fill on a regular basis" he said.
Williamson, who is an electrician, said sometimes he gets work, but not enough to cover the daily expenses.
"I live in hope and put my faith in God," he said, even as he hopes readers will be moved to assist as he awaits that day when his daughter can finally come home and return to school.
Mr Williamson can be contacted at 844-0736.