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Teen's health worsening... needs urgent attention

BY KARYL WALKER Editor — Crime/court desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 23, 2013    

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MARSHA Wright, the mother of Tahera Hayden, 13, is at her wit's end.

Her teenage daughter was last year diagnosed with a case of acute scoliosis and ever since, her offspring's life has taken a downward spiral.

Scoliosis is a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side. It is also defined as a spinal curvature of more than 10 degrees to the right or left.

The disease may develop during adolescent growth spurt and is more often diagnosed in females than males.

Wright told the Jamaica Observer that Tahera has suffered from mental and physical trauma as a result of her condition.

"Her body structure shows a visible curve, causing her to lean/tilt to one side. This, of course, has prompted her peers at school to tease and humiliate her constantly," Wright said.

Due to the constant taunting from fellow students at the Old Harbour High School which Tahera attends, the child has been unwilling to attend school and her grades have fallen drastically.

"She doesn't even want to go to school anymore. She has not been doing well at school. It has affected her badly. At nights she wakes up crying. She has to endure terrible pain in her back and knees," the single mother of three told the Sunday Observer.

To correct the unusual growth in her daughter's spinal cord, Wright would have to fork out $213,000 for a custom-made scoliosis brace.

Unfortunately, even though she is employed, the daily bump and grind of paying the bills, coupled with the ever-worsening economic times, has rendered her unable to find the cash that it would take to make her second child's life easier.

"As a single mother, I am unable to finance it and may have to face the fact that my daughter will only get progressively worse. It is with this in mind that I am soliciting any assistance that anyone may be able to afford to offset these expenses and bring about hope for my daughter," Wright said.

Time is fast running out for the desperate mother and daughter, as doctors at the Bustamante Hospital for Children have indicated that the brace should be fitted by July 24 this year ... as a matter of urgency.

"She has asked to stop attending school until we get the brace, but I cannot let her stop because her education is too important to her development," said Wright, managing to flash a smile despite her woes.

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