Shania Kirton, the 17-year-old who is receiving medical attention at the Kendall Regional Medical Centre, Miami, after being transported there by an air ambulance on June 7, from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), where she was in critical condition for three weeks, is thanking God for the miracle he has worked in her life.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY briefly from her room at the Miami Medical Centre, a soft-spoken Shania who is currently receiving therapy and awaiting tests results said though she was still on the road to recovery, “I am feeling much better.”
She said when she came out of the coma, her mother told her about the thousands of Barbados TODAY readers, and others, who were touched by her story and wished her well.
“I want to thank everybody for praying for me. God is a good God. I am very grateful, just trying now to get better,” said a shy Shania who started to walk again a few days ago.
Barbadians at home and abroad were moved by the teenager’s case, when Shania’s mother Juanita Cave, made a passionate appeal for people to donate blood to help her daughter who was in the Intensive Care Unit at the QEH.
At that time, a tearful and hurting Cave explained that doctors were trying to figure out why Shania, who was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at three months old in New York City, United States, where she was born, was experiencing the serious health challenges that caused her to be hospitalised.
Cave had also said that doctors informed her that Shania who was in an induced coma had pneumonia, her left lung was “destroyed”, and she was battling a flu that would not go.
However, no longer able to look on helplessly at her daughter’s state of health, Cave made the decision to get her daughter to the United States for advanced health care. The hopeful mother said her daughter started to show improvement within 36 hours.
Today, Cave who is in much happier spirits even while facing a high debt for her daughter’s health care, told Barbados TODAY that as she supports Shania through the journey, she owes a lot of gratitude to God and those who stood by her side in various ways, when she felt as though she was running out of faith.
“I am thankful. I am happy. I am relieved. A weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I thank everybody for their prayers and their help.
“She is walking and she is not really on any medication. She is doing good. We are still waiting on some results, but so far she is doing great.
“We just want to wait a little bit and see what the results are, and then we can ask when she would be able to go home. She is going through therapy with walking and her throat. Right now I feel comfortable that she is here . . .,” Cave said.
And while thanking doctors at QEH for the good job they would have done for Shania, Cave said she does not regret the decision she made to fly her child to the U.S.
“I guess just being in the hospital for about a month, Shania is ready to come home, she is ready to get out. We are both ready to get out, but I feel comfortable with her being here so we can ensure that everything would be okay,” the mother said.
As Shania recovers in hospital, a major fundraising effort has been launched in Barbados and New York, to help raise money for her medical expenses which Cave said stand at US$30 000.
Cave said a gofundme account titled Help Shania Breathe Again, has also been set up for people to make financial contributions.
“One of her close friends who plays football, did a walk in our area and he collected money. My stepmom’s friends in New York are collecting money. I have friends on my behalf collecting money.
“Her father’s side is also collecting money. My mother works in the fish market and they are collecting money. So everybody is trying to do his or her part,” Cave explained.
Shania had a special thank you for Barbadian vlogger Bajan Fari, who would have showed an interest in her wellbeing, visiting her in the hospital and checking in with her while in Miami.
“He got my number from a friend and he messaged her here. He spoke to her on video calling. He was so shocked to see that she was up and around,” Cave said. [email protected]