By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Before January 9, four-year-old Jahdiel Watson was a typical four-year-old attending the Kids Connection Centre and living with his parents in Purcell Estate on Tortola.
“He was never sick, always up and frisky, riding his bike, running,” Jahdiel’s paternal grandmother Jasmine Watson explained.
However, the toddler’s life and those around him drastically changed when his mother and subsequently his teacher noticed that part of his torso appeared to be disproportionate.
“His mom noticed that he had a higher tummy on the left and she took him to the doctor, but the doctor said: it’s, nothing he’s OK. He then went to school, but he didn’t want to eat, and so the teacher insisted that he ate something,” Watson told BVI News .
It was during the time when the teacher tried to convince young Jahdiel to eat that she touched his stomach and discovered something was gravely wrong.
The four-year-old was subsequently rushed to a doctor, and an X-ray was done on him indicating that he had a ‘mass’ in the mid-section of his body.
Further tests were conducted and the four-year-old was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Jahdiel was subsequently flown to Miami where he had to undergo surgery. His left kidney was removed. He has been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy since.
“Some days are good, some days are bad. It has really been stressful on the family, but I thank God because at least he still has life and through it all, we have a lot of support,” Watson said as tears flooded her eyes.
Selling food to fund medical expenses
Watson said since the discovery of her grandson’s illness, the family has been bombarded with hospital and other expenses. Watson explained that the surgery cost $100,000 and the radiation which he recently concluded came at the cost of $40,000.
Jahdiel also has to undergo 27 weeks of chemotherapy at the Nicholas Children’s Hospital in Miami.
She said while friends and family, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the National Health Insurance and the BVI Cancer Society assisted the family, they are still in need of financial help.
As a result, Watson and her husband decided to prepare food for sale to raise funds. The first food sale occurred at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park in Road Town on Thursday.
“I just thought I would initiate something that would help my son and his wife because it is very stressful on them,” she said, adding that Jahdiel is an only child.
Jahdiel’s parents have temporarily relocated to the continental US to care for the toddler.
Watson further said besides from being afraid of the hospital and the treatment he has to undertake, Jahdiel “is still himself.”
“It has really been a shock and not something that you were prepared for. I don’t think I have had a dry eye since that day,” she said.
Persons minded to assist Jahdiel may contact Jasmine Watson at 284-543-9988.
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