Highlights — 21 March 2018 — by Carlos Beardall
My life as a sickle cell patient

 March 16, 2018– My story began at the age of three. One day I woke up with my entire body badly swollen, and my eyes were bright yellow. It was something very strange to my family, because it was the first time they saw something like that. They were all concerned and frightened, so they took me to the Western Regional Hospital, in Belmopan.

When the doctors saw me, they were all shocked, so they quickly attended to me. It was no use, because they couldn’t find out what was wrong with me. They recommended my mom to go to a doctor in Chetumal, at Clinica Campestre. We went the other day, because it was a serious problem and my mom was afraid that I was going to die.

It was a long journey to Chetumal, and on the way I was getting even worse. High fever came, as well as a serious flu. I can remember my mom crying. The trip took about five hours. When we got there, the first thing we did was visit the doctor. When the doctor saw me, he told my mom that I needed to be admitted quickly. It was our first time there, and my mom was struggling to speak Spanish. The reason why is because I didn’t look well, and he needed to do some tests.

On the first day of my admission the doctor recommended some blood samples to check my blood and my white and red blood cells. He also recommended for them to do a sickle cell test. This wasn’t an ordinary blood test, because they took my blood from the bone. This process is known as “bone marrow.”

In about two days, the results came back. My blood and blood cells were ok, but the results showed that I am sickle cell positive. The doctor treated me for it and recommended a second opinion in Merida.

My mom had no clue about how to get there. She communicated with a woman who lives over there and she told my mom what to do. The next day my mom bought our tickets and we went on our way.

We went to Clinica Merida for our second opinion, which also came out positive. My case was solved; all I needed now was treatment. It is a disorder when the white blood cells eat the red blood cells. With this disease, a crisis can occur at any time, so I have to get a check-up often.

I am fourteen years old now, and I am still having problems with my sickness. Just recently I was having a crisis. Along with it came a terrible throat infection and a very high fever. I went back to Merida, where I was admitted for about two weeks, then went back to Chetumal, where I spent the rest of the month.

Due to sickle cell anemia, I miss a lot of school, but this won’t stop me from achieving my goals. This is the story of my life and what I am going through. I just want to say to all the people who are sick, “don’t give up, just believe and have faith in God and everything will be alright.”

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