Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 28th 2017 Contents life
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Sunday, May 28, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Youth struggling with kidney, heart problem says:
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Fishing, hunting, riding a bi-
cycle through the village and
spending time with his family
were some of the things Vishesh
Boodoo enjoyed before he be-
The once vibrant 19 year old is now
confined to a bed in the family’s liv-
ing room in Freeport.
Boodoo’s life changed dramatical-
ly from December. He lost weight,
could not walk and is now constant-
ly medicated. Never in his wildest
dreams did he think he would ex-
perience such a life-changing event.
Earlier this year, he spent 34 days
in ICU in a medically-induced coma,
is now on dialysis up to three times
a week and takes over a dozen pills a
day. The family was repeatedly told
by hospital staff “to prepare for the
worst and hope for the best”.
The teenager has failing kidneys,
heart problems and internal bleed-
Last September, he was rushed to
the Chaguanas Health Facility after
his face started swelling. However,
he was treated for an allergy and sent
home. Weeks later, he began vom-
iting and got severe headaches and
was again taken to the health facility.
He was again treated for an allergy.
One day before Christmas Eve he
complained of feeling unwell but re-
fused to go anywhere.
On Christmas Day, however, he
could not walk and was weak. Fam-
ily rushed him to the health facility
again but he returned home the same
day after receiving “drips” and hav-
ing a urine test done.
It was on Boxing Day last year that
he told two of his sisters, “I feel like
I going mad and I real weak.”
He was taken to Chaguanas facility
again. He had developed an infection
and his blood count was three. The
family was told that Boodoo’s organs
were shutting down. He also had an
irregular heart rate.
The close-knit family has been of-
fering moral and spiritual support to
Boodoo. His 18-year-old sister, An-
genie, is ready and willing to donate
one of her kidneys when the time
is right; a pattern she is following
from an older sister, Kelly, 27, who
donated one of her kidneys to anoth-
er brother, Adesh when she was 18.
Making ends meet
When the Sunday Guardian vis-
ited earlier this month, Boodoo was
resting on a bed. It’s been about
three weeks since he started to walk
again, progress that pleased all fam-
His father, a stroke victim, his
mother and a few siblings gathered
outside; all of them expressing con-
cern over their loved one.
The family lives in humble settings
in Arena. Boodoo’s mother, Geeta,
spends her day caring for her hus-
band, Ramdeo, and her youngest
son. No one would think she has ten
children—six girls and four boys and
eight grandchildren. In the face of
all her troubles, the petite woman
still has a youthful look.
Boodoo is the eighth child. He had
started building an adjoining room
to the family’s home last year but it
“He is a very nice child. I never
had any problems with him. Now
he is like a baby,” his mother said.
She said her son would cry with
her and asks them not to leave him
The time he spent at hospital was
lonely so now he likes to have his sib-
Everyone in the family chips in to
care for Boodoo, whether it’s to buy
medication, take him to the hospital,
carry him to see neighbours or see
Brother, Dinesh, said, “However
it is, it is. We have to struggle. My
father is not working and my little
brother is sick. I am working and
some of my siblings work, too. We
try our best for everyone to chip in,
no matter how hard, we try to help
Some of his medication include
Renvela and Alfacalcidol. A few
weeks ago, a good Samaritan donat-
ed $3,500 in Renvela which is about
three months’ supply; a gesture that
the family appreciates. Renvela is
used to control phosphorus levels
in people with chronic kidney dis-
ease who are on dialysis. A charity
group has been assisting the family
for the past few weeks.
Dinesh said the most important
thing was that his brother always has
something to eat, however, he said
it was hard for his mom who has to
operate between son and husband.
“She is up and down whole day.”
His father is now medically unfit
and was forced to give up his job as a
foreman with the Ministry of Works
and Infrastructure where he spent
almost 45 years.
‘I want to work again’
Boodoo attended Carapichaima
East Secondary School where he did
electrical studies. After he wrote
exams, he learned tiling, masonry,
He is also good with dissembling
and assembling electrical items like
cell phones, computers, stereos.
“I am good with my hands,” he
said when he finally decided to step
outside. Boodoo looked frail, more
like a nine year old than a 19 year old.
Some of his sores were visible. He
said he got them at hospital after
being bedridden for over a month.
Boodoo uses Bactroban for the sores,
but it’s not all the time his family can
He spoke about his experience at
hospital and said while he under-
stands his medical condition, “I just
want to get better, to work again.”
He worked with Dinesh doing
construction and also took care of
his father who suffered a stroke in
July last year.
For the year, Boodoo has been in
and out of hospital. There are days
he gets up and can’t breathe, he
vomits blood or is generally weak.
Sister, Kelly said while her brother
was in ICU he developed “a lot of
bed sores. It was really bad”.
She said his butt, shoulders, be-
hind his knees, and legs got sores.
“We took care of him so they
would not get worse.”
Her brother also had no plasma in
his system. Blood plasma is a straw
coloured liquid component of blood
that normally holds the blood cells
in whole blood in suspension. Even
during a blood transfusion, Boodoo
was losing blood.
He had internal bleeding in his
“Doctors said he is strong. His
body never bloated,” she said.
The family continues to struggle
but don’t intend to give up.
They are trying to open a bank
account so the public can assist.
ANYONE WISHING TO ASSIST
VISHESH BOODOO AND HIS
FAMILY CAN CONTACT 739-1766.
Vishesh Boodoo, 19,
in better times.
Vishesh Boodoo, right, surrounded by family. PHOTO: RHONDA RAMBALLY
I want to
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