Two-year-old battles rare liver disease
"A bare cry me a cry because me feel like them a neglect me baby," said Kevin Gilzene. The father, 41, said that for over a year now, his two-year-old son, Kehshawn, has been suffering because his surgery, scheduled at the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC), has been repeatedly delayed.
Kehshawn, who suffers from a rare liver disease, biliary atresia, requires a liver transplant. He is scheduled for surgery on August 29.
"The first time when the surgery did fi do a when corona [COVID-19] just come out and dem seh it caah do. The next time them make the date and everything, and dem seh corona again, a just bare a that story," the distraught father said.
"It look like the baby a guh dead to how him look now, and dem a seh a two months before surgery. Dem naah give me nuh good excuse because a COVID dem naah guh save me baby life," the elder Gilzene said.
Camille Panton, CEO of the BHC, said the hospital is working assiduously to help young Kehshawn.
"The child has a date for surgery but there are a lot of other factors hindering him from doing the surgery. We are dealing with it as a team so the child can get the necessary care as soon as possible," she said.
Dark brown urine
Biliary atresia is a childhood disease in which one or more of the bile ducts are blocked causing bile to be trapped in the liver. A jaundiced appearance, swollen belly and dark brown urine are some symptoms of the disease.
Baby Kehshawn's parents saw those signs when he was a few months old.
"When him a baby we a look on him and realise that him groin corner swell up, and him eye dem did just yellow. A so we bring him guh doctor and dem tell we say is a liver disease," Gilzene told THE STAR.
The disease can only be corrected through surgical procedure where a liver transplant is done. The younger the infant at the time of surgery, the more likely the surgery will be successful.
In 2018, doctors from Nemours/A.I. Dupont Hospital for Children had visited Jamaica to perform transplant surgery on two babies who suffered from disease. During their stay the doctors also educated local doctors on how to perform the surgery.
Gilzene said that either him or the child's mother will be required to give a piece of their liver to the son in the life-saving procedure.
"About a year ago them text me and say my liver can't work because I smoke so the mother have to give him piece of hers. To how long them wait me babymother all pregnant again, so dem can't bother use her, so a me affi go do it now," he said.
"Him affi get the new liver fi him live because his own infected, it make him belly swell, and him can't breathe good. Me son all have pneumonia pon top a that," he said
The Red Hills, St Andrew resident said witnessing his son undergo such level of pain has left him in shambles.
"Right now me stress out and caah sleep because me a think about me baby. A pon me the baby sleep a night time because him uncomfortable a just a bawl out in a him sleep," he told THE STAR. "A just God a keep him."