Juanita Cave is pleading with Barbadians to donate blood to help her daughter Shania Kirton who is in hospital hooked up on life support and facing a critical illness.
This is the third time that Cave has been making an appeal for blood donations of all types for the 17-year-old who has been in an induced coma for the past three weeks.
Bursting into tears, the mother, who said she had been struggling to face reality that her daughter’s critical condition seems to be getting worse, told Barbados TODAY that doctors say Shania was urgently in need of blood.
“She is in need of blood. Anybody out there please donate to Sir Winston Scott Polyclinic. She has been here for about three weeks and I just want my daughter to wake up and talk to me.
“If you have a heart, or believe that you can help someone today, just donate. This is my little girl and I love her so much. So if you can, I am begging you, to a mother, to anybody that is out there, just donate blood for my daughter.
“We had appealed for blood the first time and we got through. We had another appeal for another set of blood, and we got through. Now this is the third one and I haven’t heard anything as yet to say that we got any donations today. They keep asking for fresh blood. It doesn’t matter what kind of blood type right now. She is in dire need of blood,” Cave said, pointing out that she has used social media to send out her appeals.
Cave explained that Shania who was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia at three months old in New York City, United States, where she was born, currently has pneumonia, and “her left lung is destroyed” and she is battling a fever “that would not go”.
“They don’t know the reason why she is having this fever. Now they want to do a test on her heart to see if there is anything wrong. They were saying that they have been trying to put the tube back in her mouth, and it couldn’t go back in. There was blood coming back out. This is really hard. She is only 17 years old, and I need the help, I really need the help,” she said.
Cave said though her daughter has not spoken since she went into the coma, she has opened and closed her eyes on occasions when relatives and friends called her name.
“Yesterday I got this smile that I love. She gave me a smile. But then last night the doctor called me and told me something totally different that hurt my heart. I haven’t slept. She told me ‘your daughter is getting critical’,” she recalled.
In addition to dealing with her gravely ill child who attended Eagle Hall Primary and Ellerslie Secondary School, Cave said she was also mourning the loss of her sister who died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) yesterday where she was being treated for an illness.
Constantly blinking her eyes to keep the tears from falling, Cave said family and friends have been supporting her as she struggles to remain strong for Shania who she said was a typical teenager.
“I love my daughter so much. I brought her back here to live after she was diagnosed with sickle cell and the doctors in New York were telling me that the weather there would always have her in hospital. So I decided to come back to my home. This is hard. When I get home and I see her things, I see her walking about. She would be in my face, saying ‘mummy I love you’ and she would come and she would kiss me.
“I pray for her every day. Last night I went on my knees and I prayed. I even asked God what have I done? I asked Him what she has done. Everybody coming to me and just telling me to pray. The last critical news that I got, I walked on the corridor, I put my hands against the wall and I looked up and I asked Him why me? Why am I going through this? What have I done? If I have done something critical to anybody or to you I apologise. Just wake her up please, just let her come home.”
Cave explained that Shania was hospitalised after she complained about an excruciating pain that would not go away, even though she took her medication. She was admitted and put on pain medication.
The mother recalled that her daughter then started showing signs that she might have been hallucinating.
“Little did I know my daughter was hallucinating, meaning that she was getting no oxygen to her brain. That is why she was talking to people who are not here. From there, everything went downhill.”