Barrouallie Police Youth Club raises funds to assist former president with medical bills
A barbecue has been held by the Barrouallie Police Youth Club to raise funds for their former President, whose family must find thousands of dollars every month to keep him alive.
At the site of the barbecue, held at a primary school in Barrouallie last Friday, August 7, Okeito “Tom Tom” Henville noted that he was diagnosed in October of 2019.
“I was having a severe headache for a week then I went to the polyclinic in Buccament and the doctor give me some pain tablets,” Henville, who was 19 years old at the time, recalled.
He was told to come back in a week if the headaches persisted, but he started vomiting blood.
Through some tests done at the hospital, he found out on October 8, 2019, that both of his kidneys are damaged.
The 20 year old, who has a bright personality despite everything, admitted that when he found out he was little depressed.
“At first it felt like everything was shattered because they were … [being damaged] for over eight years and no sign or anything to say well my kidneys were damaged,” he disclosed.
Now he has had to change his diet, is on medication, and started Hemodialysis in May. Prior to this he was on Peritoneal dialysis.
“The Hemodialysis now I use a catheter that’s in my leg. I do it for four hours, twice per week,” he said, and every session is $250. Every month his family must pay $2000.
However, if he doesn’t have money, “they give us a slip to say that we owe them the $250 for the session and I still get to do the dialysis until I can pay them.”
His family are $2000 behind in payments.
When asked about a transplant, Henville said that the doctor is looking at a transplant in in the United States, which costs US$80,000.
“She said even though I got the kidney from a family member I still have to wait because there are other people before me on the list to do the transplant.”
Other than losing weight, Henville still has a positive outlook on life.
“….Because of my friends I still live my normal life, my everyday life, I still go about living like nothing, like if I’m not sick.”
He is eating normally now, and the vomiting has stopped. His weight is expected to return.
Henville lives with his mother who supports him as well as his siblings. He revealed that one of his brothers also has an advanced fatal disease, while another of his siblings is ill.
Other than funds raised by the barbecue, Henville’s church has lent a hand with payment for one month’s dialysis.
“When I heard about the fund I was very happy and grateful because at the end of the month we have to pay $2000 in order for me to do dialysis,” the former President of the youth club said.
“I just want to tell the persons who are praying for me, thank you very much, those who contributed, because a lot of people contributed that I don’t know, I just want to say thank y’all very much.”