Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 11th 2015 Contents it was a matter left to God.
Thomas said almost every week
Kinaya had to go into theatre to inject
chemo into her spine straight into
the bone marrow, and six hours of
chemo in liquid form administered
intravenously that made her very
sick and caused her hair to drop. A
port was implanted near her shoulder
that ran to her main artery down to
her heart so that five different cock-
tails of drugs could be administered.
He said with Kinaya s autism she
hated the procedures, they had to
hold her for the six hours, she could-
n t keep quiet and tried to pull out
The chemo liquid was so corrosive,
if it touched the skin it could eat
away straight down to the bone.
Thomas said being there at the
hospital taught them so much, they
never left their daughter s side and
his wife slept at the hospital during
He said his wife would come in
the afternoon and stay until the next
morning, then he would relieve her.
He brought his laptop to work at
Kinaya s bedside creating ads during
Patricia said suffering broke down
borders, parents realised when their
children were in the hospital ward
religion and race didn t matter.
"Your child has leukaemia this is
what you do, we help one another,
the only thing that matters is the
mortality of your child," she said.
Patricia said there were no spe-
cial dietary considerations for chil-
dren with Down syndrome and
autism but with Kinaya s cancer,
they had to monitor what she ate
She said the chemo made it dif-
ficult for her to swallow solid food,
they pureed her food, gave her no
processed food and made everything
from scratch such as almond milk,
juices, boiled potatoes and carrots.
Patricia said they would like to
see more social workers and a
stronger social intervention apparatus
for parents and their children.
She said nobody offered coun-
selling to the parents, but the sup-
port from the other parents they
met at the hospital proved invalu-
able. Patricia said the parents who
gained knowledge and experience
through their ailing children took
the unknown out of it, providing
useful information on nutrition,
what to give their child to neutralise
the chemo, and what to expect
when they came to the operating
theatre. She said what parents
taught them, they in turn passed
on the knowledge to others.
Thomas said T&T s healthcare
system for children with cancer was
second to none, with well-trained
and dedicated doctors and nurses.
He said some people thought
that when they took child abroad
they would get better medical treat-
ment, but that was not necessarily
the case. Thomas said what may
be better in foreign hospitals was
the comforts, but the actual med-
icine and treatment were the same.
He said what was most impor-
tant was their faith in God, praying
with their friends at the Elijah Cen-
tre, La Joya Complex, St Joseph,
providing a very strong network
and support in building a strong
Thomas said he heard so many
stories in Trinidad of families
breaking up because of the stress
caused by taking care of a special
needs child and he discussed this
when he attended the National
Down Syndrome Congress Con-
vention in Indianapolis, USA, in
July 2014 with his wife, Kinaya,
and their 16-year-old son, Kevon.
October is Down Syndrome Aware-
He said Kinaya had changed their
lives, they were seeing life from a
different perspective, they didn t
fuss about the little things anymore.
Kinaya is still undergoing treat-
ment but it is not as intensive as
before. Her cancer is in remission
and she is in her maintenance phase
for two more years to make sure
the cancer does not return.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt October 11, 2015
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Dad with Down syndrome child
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From Page A25
Kinaya with parents, Patricia and Kelvin
Thomas, and brother Kevon.
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