A mother's strength, a daughter's comfort - Pt1
Carrying your child for nine months and going through the sometimes unbearable motions associated with pregnancy is hard enough as it is.
Having to then watch your child grow up with an illness that is unpredictable and even life-threatening is unexplainable. But the strength of a mother is second to none, and for the next two weeks, we will introduce to you powerful mothers who are fighting for their daughters.
Sue-Yeng Ramsay-Pusey sat with her daughter, Imani Taylor, three years ago in their doctor's office, awaiting an announcement that would change life as they knew it.
She didn't know how she could do it, but she did.
"It was the summer period, and I had a lot of juice on the fridge. Imani wouldn't touch it, and I know she wasn't really a water child, and that is what first drew my attention. She was just craving water, getting up at 2 or 3 a.m. wanting water and then I noticed once that she wet the bed - and I knew this could not be good."
Ramsay-Pusey admitted that she came down hard on her daughter for wetting the bed even as she battled with thoughts of what could possibly be wrong.
Something must definitely be wrong
"My husband said to me that something must definitely be wrong because that was unlike Imani. She would just wake up and be tired. I brought her to our family doctor, Dr Robinson, and while I was waiting, I began reading his charts and said, 'This can't be the signs ...'."
"A stomach test was done and it came back clear. He then allowed my daughter to do the blood sugar test and it was 400 and odd. He hugged me and started to cry and mi said, 'God, this nuh good'. He wrote a letter and told me to take it to Percy Junor. When I went there, they did not hesitate. They began giving her all the medical treatments necessary."
When Ramsay-Pusey heard that her daughter could have fallen into a coma, she truly understood that diabetes was no joke.
"That has been the story of my life since. I give her her insulin shots twice a day - before she goes to school in the morning and when she gets home in the evening. These past years have been very trying. We got her diagnosis three days after I was baptised, so you can just imagine how rough that was for me."
Young Imani, now 13 years old, told Family & Religion that she has had to adjust her life significantly, but she understands why it has to be done.
"Hearing that I was diabetic made me very sad. I used to ask God all the time, 'Why me?', but now, I just have to do what I need to - take my medication and eat right. My friends know that I am diabetic and they remind me all the time not to eat what I shouldn't."
Ramsay-Pusey said that she was grateful for her support system, which has played a crucial role in helping to manage her daughter's illness.
"Though she has been hospitalised and has been in the ICU, I give God thanks it is diabetes. When I look at what some other mothers have to deal with, I consider this nothing. Her school family at the Christiana Leased Primary School was very supportive and now being at Christiana High is no different. The teachers call me, the nurse calls me, if they notice anything off, and my church family is there for me 100 per cent. Dr Tamara McKenzie, along with the staff at the Percy Junor Hospital and Dr Gabby at UWI, have always been a part of Imani's life and I could not have done it without them."
Imani says that she wants to become a doctor so that she can help children like herself living with diabetes, among other illnesses.
Next week, we meet another powerful mother.