Thu | Jul 2, 2020

15-year-old hit by brain tumour needs help

Published:Friday | May 29, 2020 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Kaylia Pinnock
Kaylia Pinnock
Kaylia Pinnock and her mother, Velma Latchman.
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WESTERN BUREAU:

Fifteen-year-old Anchovy High School student Kaylia Pinnock is in desperate need of help to get medical attention for a grade two brain tumour, which has left her facing an uncertain future and plunging her mother, Velma Latchman, into a state of despair.

The life-threatening condition has prevented the second-form student from attending school since January, and her mother, a 42-year-old sweets vendor, is hoping that a good Samaritan will come to her child’s aid.

According to Latchman, Kaylia’s health condition has prevented her from staying on par with her classmates, because of the lengthy period of absence from school, as well as her struggle to retain what was taught.

“She is not functioning because at times, she does not remember things,” the distraught mother told The Gleaner. “This minute she remembers and another she doesn’t recall. And if she goes to school and they give her a lot of work in the class, her head hurts.

“When she has a seizure, everybody has to run. It twists her up, leans her mouth, and bends her legs before it comes back around. She can’t use her right hand. This time is the worst we have seen her condition. She keeps having seizures, which toss her all over the place. The doctors said she has grade two brain tumour,” said the worried mother.

“To tell you the truth, it’s rough, and I have sleepless nights. There are times when I have to be at the hospital all night, then go back to work, where I sell and help a lady deliver food,” explained the mother.

EXPENSIVE MEDICATION

“I have to buy medication, but it is very expensive, and right now, what is available at the hospital has expired. I would normally have to put money [a deposit at the hospital] to help source it from Kingston, but I don’t have any money and because of the coronavirus they don’t source it yet. I don’t know what they are going to tell me when I go back on the second of June, and right now she needs this month’s supply,” added the worried mother.

Latchman said her daughter’s medical troubles started during her final year as a student at Anchovy Primary in 2018, when she complained of a nagging headache while preparing to participate in the Mini Miss Anchovy Pageant.

“You know seh me give up because I don’t have any money left to spend on her,” said the frustrated mother. “The paltry income working as a vendor and savings for my other children have dried up and she has missed several computed tomography scans (CT scan).

Despite the difficulty that she is facing, the mother nonetheless took time out to express gratitude to the principal at Anchovy High School, who provided initial assistance towards the cost of her daughter’s CT scans.

“When her father went to G-West Medical Complex, he was told that it would cost $61,000 for CT scan, and I told the school and they helped me with $30,000 towards it. I had the find the rest on my own,” Latchman said.

“Since then, I have been made to foot the medical cost on my own – $51,000, $52,000 and $58,000 – that’s what I have been paying for these scans. She (Kaylia) did eight weeks of radiation therapy, and the doctor took her off the pills and placed her on an injection that is for $10,000, and she has to go into a machine,” the mother added.

To assist Kaylia Pinnock to recover from grade two brain tumour, persons are being asked to contact her mother, Velma Latchman, at 876-821-4543.