After suffering through three years of restless nights and intolerable pain, Sharefa Gooding spent her Easter holiday cycling throughout her Alleyne’s Land, Bush Hall, St Michael neighbourhood and playing with her family like a normal ten-year-old child.
It is hard to imagine that just a month ago, this mischievous Lawrence T Gay Memorial Primary School student would stifle her laughter due to immense discomfort. Her reluctance to laugh heartily was due to a cyst on her liver, which caused unbearable pain.
It was in 2014, that the Class Three primary school student was diagnosed.
When her mother, Trina Gooding reached out to Barbados TODAY in January, the cyst, which had grown the size of a cricket ball, was wreaking havoc on the young girl’s small frame.
Due to the incomprehensible pain she suffered, Sharefa was on morphine, she took Cataflam and Panadol, as well as medicine for her severe acid reflux and allergies.
The child’s illness had taken a toll on the unemployed Gooding, who suffers from schizophrenia and also has to take care of her 15-year-old son, who exhibited suicidal tendencies.
It might be the combination of the Easter break and the success of Sharefa’s surgery, but the family were all smiles and laughter when Barbados TODAY visited this week.
No longer having to wake up to the screams her youngest child in the wee hours of the morning, Gooding was happy and at peace. The surgery, which was performed on March 24th, was a nerve-racking four hours for the 35-year-old mother. However, she is elated with the results.
“Everything has stopped,” Trina said, smiling.
With the bouts of intense pain now history, a restless Sharefa sat next to her mother as she explained that there was still some discomfort, but from the post operation healing process.
Currently on the mild painkiller Baralgin, Sharefa simply wanted to play football and ride around on her cousin’s bicycle.
“I don’t like inside, I want to go outside,” she said.
After spending the past three years at home, in doctor offices or at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the aspiring St Michael’s School student is glad to see the back of the hospital.
“I don’t want to see in there again; even when I pass I don’t want to look at there. If I go St Michael’s I’m walking straight past it. Actually, I’m going to walk the next side of the road,” an adamant Sharefa said.
March 24 remains a day embedded her young mind, as she watched the cyst drained from her body.
“They numbed the area, they didn’t drug [anaesthetize] me – I was so happy they didn’t drug me because I watched every single thing,” Sharefa said.
Her mum explained that doctors decided to drain the membranous sac rather than remove it because the child’s organs were reversed.
“The organs in her body switched around so instead of removing the cyst, they put a tube to her nose and a bag to her side, so when they cut across the stomach and then cut the cyst inside the stomach . . . [they] let it drain down the bag and drain out instead of moving it,” she explained.
Nevertheless, the mother of two is thankful and happy with the results.
“I feel happy now she got the surgery. I feel much relieved. Now I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night and call an ambulance,” Gooding said.
More than anything, she said she was thankful to those who came to her aid in her darkest hours.