Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 27th 2014 Contents A33
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At 21, Sacha Roopnarine is healthy and
happy. Life could not be better. But it was a
rough journey for the girl from La Romaine
who battled with her health issues for quite
"My life was nothing short of misery," she
At 13, Roopnarine fell ill with stomach prob-
lems. At times she would experience excruciating
pain in the lower abdomen that occurred three
or four times a week, lasting up to three hours
After a series of doctor visits and costly tests,
she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syn-
drome. A condition in which a woman s levels
of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are
out of balance, causing a variety of health prob-
At the time of her diagnosis, Roopnarine did
not fully understand what having polycystic
ovary syndrome meant. It was only after doing
her own research that she understood. What
was confusing to Roopnarine was that nowhere
in her research did she read about excruciating
pains being associated with the condition. And
even her doctor confirmed that the pains were
not as a result of the disease. He could not tell
her though, the cause of these pains.
To treat her condition the doctor placed Roop-
narine on several birth control pills to regulate
her period---irregular periods are a symptom of
polycystic ovary syndrome. However, the med-
ication had a negative effect on Roopnarine. She
began experiencing more pain, and even depres-
sion. She fainted quite often. She also began
gaining weight which she said made her feel
ugly and suicidal. Then came the seizures that
would occur almost daily. During these bouts
of fits Roopnarine would scream, kick, hit and
yell to the top of her voice, "I don t want to
live!" This left many believing she was demon
possessed, including students and teachers at
her Fyzabad Anglican Secondary School.
Roopnarine explained that she was unaware
of what was happening to her during the seizures.
When she informed her doctor, he told her the
seizures might be a side effect of the medication.
He also said, her s was a rare case.
Living in isolation
Life became very difficult for Roopnarine.
She often felt she was a burden to her parents
and at school she became an outcast.
"I lost all my friends. Students teased me;
they would call me names like possessed girl,
mad girl, obeah girl," said Roopnarine.
This led the then 15-year-old to have low
self-esteem. She also tried to starve herself so
she would not gain any more weight.
"I thought since I was already being teased
about my condition, to be fat too would be just
Eventually, Roopnarine s continued seizures
led to her dismissal from school. "The principal
said I was disrupting the class and causing con-
cern amongst other parents. This was very dif-
ficult for Roopnarine as education meant every-
thing to her. She would be home-schooled for
a year by her sister who was a teacher.
"After a year passed. I decided I wanted to
return to school. I began attending Kevin s College
in San Fernando, a private school my sister
taught at. But the change of scenery was no
different, having also now to deal with an over-
protective sister who literally did not allow me
to have a normal life at school. Then came the
murmurs and the negative criticisms from the
students once I had a seizure."
Despite the challenges, Roopnarine excelled
at her studies, being the top academic student
in her class. But this achievement was also met
with negativism. She was now called the "sicky
"This really hurt my feelings, because I started
to wonder exactly where would I fit in. I mean
if everywhere I go I am experiencing dislike from
others, then maybe the fault was in me."
At one point, Roopnarine said she almost
even succumbed to peer pressure just to fit in.
"There were some students who used to drink
and smoke and do other things they should not
have been doing and they would often try to
convince me I should do the same, but something
always kept me from doing it. And I believe it
was my promise to my family that I will always
make them proud."
A divine intervention
Roopnarine believes that in life, we will meet
people who are meant to stay in our lives for
good, and others only for a while. She is grateful
for Kevin Rajpartee, a young man she believes
is a godsend in her life.
"I met Kevin when we were both preparing
for CXC. We started talking and I confided in
him about my condition and he invited me to
a full gospel church, which he and his family
attended. He said maybe I needed the Lord to
help me," said Roopnarine.
• Continues on Page A34
A miracle of faith
Sacha Roopnarine endured pain and
suffering before coming to a place
where she is now healthy and happy.
PHOTOS: ABRAHAM DIAZ
One of the best-preserved copies
of the first Superman comic has sold
for US$3.2 million, a record price for a
comic book, according to eBay.
Superman made his debut in
Action Comics #1, which cost ten
cents in 1938.
Only around 50 unrestored
originals are thought to have
survived, and this was described as
the most immaculate.
New York dealers Metropolis
Comics said they bought it. It beat
the previous record of US$2.16
million set by another copy of the
same comic in 2011.
The latest copy to be sold was
given a nine out of ten rating for its
condition and has white pages,
according to independent comic book
grader Certified Guaranty Company.
It had been kept in a cedar chest in
a home in West Virginia after being
bought in 1938, according to seller
After the owner's death, the
family sold it to a dealer in the early
1980s and it was eventually sold to
Mr Adams, who runs the Pristine
Comics shop in Washington state.
Stephen Fishler of Metropolis
Comics told the Associated Press the
opportunity was "just too good of an
opportunity to pass up".
He said: "It's hard to believe that a
kid's ten cent comic could be worth
that much money, but it is
"That's an iconic thing. It's the first
time anybody saw what a superhero
was like." (BBC)
First Superman comic sells for US$3.2m
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