Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 4th 2015 Contents A29
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
"I am living a second life,"
said 27-year-old Ray
Mohammed, after fac-
ing a life-threatening ordeal less than
a year ago.
Mohammed, a former Naparima
Boys College student, lived a normal
life. He had a passion for sport and
having a good time with friends. He
grew up in Tarouba, San Fernando.
He excelled in accounting and is fur-
thering his studies.
But his life changed drastically after
what he thought was just recurring
headaches turned out to be far more
severe. He was shocked when told
that without brain surgery he would
Mohammed explained what he
endured. "It started for about a
month, I started to get headaches. I
took the normal headache medica-
tions. They worked but the headaches
never left. I thought it was migraines
so I never took it serious until the
pain became consistent and started
to affect my daily functions."
Mohammed then decided to go see
"When I first saw the doctor, they
took the blood test and told me I have
more white blood cells than red and
this was a sign of an infection. They
gave a course of antibiotics and that
"It worked," he said. "The pain was
Optimistic that things were back
to normal, Mohammed went to work.
He attended school for about two
weeks. But the pain returned, this
time more viciously and intensely.
"The pain was crippling. It was
pain that I never felt before. I started
to get a very high fever. I was con-
fused. I called my girlfriend to sleep
over with me at nights to monitor
me. I was afraid it was something
One night, Mohammed was rushed
to the San Fernando General Hospital
where a series of tests were done and
he was admitted to the Ward imme-
diately. He thought his stay at the
hospital would have been a short one.
"All my tests came back normal
but the headaches were still there,"
The doctors suggested a CT scan
and an MRI to dig deeper for the
source of the headaches.
"At this time, the pain became so
intense I was getting delusional and
had to be restrained. They knew it
was an infection but could not iden-
On Carnival weekend in 2014,
Mohammed s mother Joy had to stay
with him because the pain was affect-
ing his reasoning.
"Ray fought back while we were
getting the MRI done. He believed
he was going to be killed by someone,"
his mother said. "I was scared for
my son because I never saw him in
such severe pain."
The MRI showed a large cerebral
abscess in the front right of his brain
that was filled with inflammation as
well as an infection in his sinus pas-
Doctors told the Mohammed fam-
ily the only way their son could sur-
vive was to have emergency brain
surgery. They explained that the pro-
cedure could have some life-changing
effects. The hardest pill to swallow,
however, was that there was a 50/50
chance of survival with the proce-
"I was in shock," said Mohammed s
mother. "It was only a day Ray was
in the hospital and I am being told
about emergency brain surgery. What
was also more scary was knowing
that the chances of him coming out
of this surgery were very slim."
• Continues on Page A30
An unpublished novel by Harper
Lee is to finally see the light of day,
60 years after the US author put it
aside to write To Kill a Mockingbird.
Go Set a Watchman, which
features the character Scout Finch
as an adult, will be released on July
14.Lee wrote it in the mid-1950s
but put it aside on the advice of her
"I thought it a pretty decent
effort," said Lee, now 88. "I am
humbled and amazed that this
will now be published after all
Set in the fictional southern
town of Maycomb during the
mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman
sees Scout return from New York
to visit her father, the lawyer
According to the publisher's
announcement: "She is forced to
grapple with issues both
personal and political as she tries
to understand her father's
attitude toward society, and her
own feelings about the place
where she was born and spent
Lee's editor persuaded her to
rework some of the story's
flashback sequences as a novel in
their own right---and that book
became To Kill a Mockingbird.
"I was a first-time writer, so I
did as I was told," the author
Harper Lee to publish Mockingbird 'sequel'
tells the story of
his brush with
death, he feels his
brain surgery was
a battle that
helped him to
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