Tanya Williams is growing more anxious every day as her two-year-old son Jahari Headley needs urgent heart surgery and his condition worsens.
In an interview with the gleaner On Friday, Williams explained how she took her son to the doctor last week for a checkup and was told he showed no signs of improvement.
The worried mother of two other healthy boys, aged 11 and 10, said she often wondered why Jahari had the condition.
The toddler was born with a large hole and two small holes in his heart, along with other heart complications.
The condition is known as a ventricular septal defect (VSD), a common heart defect that is present at birth. The heart has to work harder than normal due to the pumping of oxygen-rich blood to the lungs rather than to the rest of the body.
“Oh Lord, it’s very, very hard. It weighs on me,” Williams said, adding that she also had to see a doctor as she was losing weight.
The concerned mother said the situation was also affecting her mentally. She sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night to check if Jahari is still alive.
Based on her own research into the condition, Williams believes her son will have a better chance of a full life if the surgery is done as soon as possible, because the longer it goes, the weaker he will become.
Lack of appetite, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and easy fatigue are all possible symptoms of this condition.
But Williams pointed to Jahari’s lack of hunger as one of his biggest challenges.
“He’s on his feet, but he’s not gaining weight and when it comes to eating, [that] part is really, really difficult…. I don’t even know when he’s hungry, so I have to use a syringe and feed him the milk and I have to like to entertain him – sort of distract him a bit – and give him the milk little by little,” he said. she declared. the gleaner.
Williams revealed that she also had to chew solid food before giving it to him, adding that she was unable to recognize when he was hungry because he showed no signs of being hungry.
She had to write down the times he ate so she knew when he needed another meal.
Jahari’s heart catheterization procedure will cost around US$17,000 (J$2.6 million), with additional expenses that will total US$19,000 (J$2.92 million).
The procedure will need to be performed at the William Soler Pediatric Cardiology Center in Cuba, as there is a long waiting list at the local Bustamante Children’s Hospital in Kingston.
Williams, a teacher by profession, admitted it has been a significant challenge trying to find the funds as she also has to look after her other children and the family in general.
“Even if I work, it’s difficult,” she says.
She appeals to the general public for help.
How you can help
Those willing to help young Jahari can contact Tanya Williams by phone at 876-824-8786.
A deposit can also be made to the savings account in the name of Tanya Williams at the Lucea branch of the National Commercial Bank: A/C #754141646.
A donation can also be made through a GoFundMe account at https://gofund.me/bc49b72a.