Above It All
Being a young and precocious baby, Angelee Bennett showed no major signs of ill health in her infancy, until she became three years old. “I got a call from her basic school teacher one day, who said she started to vomit, so I had to collect her and take her to the doctor,” reminisced Marlett Bailey, Bennett’s mother.
At first, the doctor said Bennett was dehydrated and recommended rehydration salt and panadol as a suitable remedy. Unfortunately, this did not improve her situation as her eyes became yellow and her illness got worse. As a result, she was admitted to May Pen General... read more
As part of a regular prenatal-care procedure, Janet Campbell, Jamel’s mother, was instructed by her doctor to do a test for sickle cell while in her third trimester. This was something the Lawrence Tavern resident was unfazed by at the time, because she was certain she did not carry the sickle cell trait. At that time, she had never been told by a doctor before that she had sickle cell. “When the result came back, they told me I had a trait of it and they needed to test his father next. Unfortunately, he also had the trait. We didn’t believe it at first, so he did the test... read more
Growing up in rural Jamaica, Percy B Aiden* was always known to be an introvert. His silence was further compounded by his nomadic childhood which had him back and forth from one parent’s house to the other. This came as a result of them trying to co parent the best way they knew how despite being living apart.
With all this happening, it was hard for Aiden to focus on his GSAT exams, which he failed in 2010. Subsequently, he was placed at an All Age School in parish, where he tried to cope the best way he knew. “I was very quiet at school and to make matters worse, i had a very... read more
For Martin Thomas, who came to Jamaica at eight months old, his path to finding his purpose has been a contorted one with many discouraging potholes. “He could not talk up to age four, and I became extremely worried, so I took him to a doctor where he was diagnosed with highfunction autism. Of course, all this was so new to me. I was in total shock,” revealed Janice Hall Thomas, Martin’s mother. This news came three years after his mother had made a conscious decision to return to Jamaica after living in England for 28 years. “My husband and I wanted our kids to grow up... read more
Youthlink coordinator Kareem LaTouche.
Every time write this series, it takes a lot out of me from an emotional standpoint. The stories are so sensitive and the truth lies in a very vulnerable place where many persons are hesitant to go. This one teen, who was a part of the original batch, suffers from bipolar disorder and his episodes have been a challenge for both him and his mother. We were on the phone for weeks, talking about doing the story and the fact that he would remain unanimous. However, on the day of the interview, he was overwhelmed with emotions and decided to forgo everything.
It’s hard to go through... read more
Growing up in rural Jamaica, Mishca Ann Shakespear* was a very active child who preferred to play with plants rather than her peer. However when she was seven years old, her relationship with her mother became toxic and she had to live with her father. “She didn’t like me and she made me know it. Something as simple as a hug, she would push me away. I was so angry at her, because i wanted us to a regular mother-daughter relationship, but it was clear this was never going to happen,” revealed Shakespear.
This social shift planted a seed of disruption that showed no visible signs in... read more
ABOUT TWO years ago, I got a chance to chat with some guidance counsellors while at a university seminar geared towards high- school students. During breaks, we would form a huddle and talk about the challenges facing our teens and how these challenges can hinder their academic growth, especially when matriculating to a university.
Some of the first-hand stories they shared were very alarming and sad; most centred around the psychological effects of being in an impoverished situation, as well as living with a disease like sickle cell.
It was clear that more light needed to be... read more
About two years ago, I got a chance to chat with some guidance counsellors while at a university seminar geared towards highschool students. During breaks, we would form a huddle and talk about the challenges facing our teens and how these challenges can hinder their academic growth, especially when matriculating to a university.
Some of the first-hand stories they shared were very alarming and sad; most centred around the psychological effects of being in an impoverished situation, as well as living with a disease like sickle cell. It was clear that more light... read more
For much of Daidrian Laing’s academic life, she had been an astute student who also took pride in being involved in many extracurricular activities. Perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments for the former Knox College High School student was being on the school’s honour roll for three consecutive years. A feat which required exemplary mannerisms as well as an above-80 per cent average. “I was on the honour roll from grade eight, which is something that I was very proud of, because I tried really hard,” she stated.
Growing up, the St Ann resident had... read more