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• 11-year-old diagnosed with ulcer in the stomach

• 11-year-old diagnosed with ulcer in the stomach

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The love and determination of one father may be the reason 11-year-old Kidame Kingman of Calder is still alive today. In March 2005 the once sprightly child suffered stomach pains which when diagnosed by doctors turned out to be an ulcer in the stomach.

But it wasn’t just the excruciating pain of her ulcer that made Kidame’s case so tragic, but also the pain of undergoing three operations. {{more}}

Kidame who once weighed 80 pounds now weighs a mere 55 pounds and gets her nourishment from a feeding tube. The frail child can no longer run about and play like the rest of her school friends and said that she misses things like going to the beach, and going on river trips with her dad and Rastafari friends when they have cook ups. Kidame also admitted that she misses holding the neighbour’s baby, which has become too strenuous.

Kidame, which is Ethiopian for “Holy Saint”, has to undergo flushing her system and has to be nourished with a choice of milk, peanut punch, ice cream or Complan to satisfy her hunger. Occasionally she would eat soup but if she tries to eat rice, bread or any other solid food she would throw up.

She explained in her sweet soft-spoken voice, “I can’t hold down the food. It always comes back up. Daddy would have to mix the powdered supplement in a blender and I would take it three to four times a day.”

But dad Maliki confessed that it pains him to see his daughter in such agony.

He lamented, “If I could have take the pain she feeling I would feel so much better.”

Maliki knows the meaning of suffering; before Kidame was born, the 45-year-old lost two children while they were newborns and his wife died when Kidame was just two years old.

The handyman admitted that as a single father, it has been difficult earning a living and taking care of his sick child, but said that he is determined to give her the best care. He however fears that the exorbitant cost of healthcare would hinder him from getting the final operation in Barbados that his daughter so desperately needs.

He said that he was surprised at how some people could be so caring, while others could be so callous. He recounted that one time at about 11:30 pm, Kidame had to be rushed to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

He was grateful to get a ride from a stranger, but shocked when the stranger left his weak daughter and himself by the roadside at Prospect. From there they had to wait what seemed like hours before they got another ride to the emergency room.

Maliki stressed that he wants the best for his 11-year-old and will never give up trying to make sure that she gets the lifesaving operation in Barbados.

With his daughter by his side the father said, “I want her to be healthy and to get her education. The world is out there for her to be whatever she wants to be in life.”

Looking down into her docile eyes he stressed, “I love Kidame and I will never give up on her.”

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