CLICO steps forward to help spinal tumour patient
Stabroek News – April 16, 2008
Life for nineteen-year-old Tashana Corlette has been extremely difficult over the last five months after a tumour was discovered growing on her spine and her parents were advised that she had to travel overseas for medical attention.
Since then her parents have been quietly appealing for money and on Monday CLICO answered their cries and donated $100,000 towards the operation.
Corlette needs approximately $15M to be properly diagnosed and treated abroad. CLICO’s donation has upped the sum gathered so far to approximately $5.5M.
Just before handing over the cheque to Corlette’s father Terrence, the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Venita Bovell encouraged all to pray not only for Corlette but for all the young people who are plagued with illnesses, especially cases like hers.
The manager said that these very young people could be the future leaders of Guyana and stressed that the company believes that its duty is to serve the community.
After receiving the cheque at a simple handing over ceremony at the company’s head office on Camp Street, Terrence thanked CLICO for their contribution and implored other organizations to follow in their footsteps and help those who have to go abroad for medical attention.
He asked members of the public to open their hearts and help these persons, not only his daughter.
At her South Ruimveldt Gardens home on Monday, Corlette, who before November last year was an outgoing, energetic young lady, was lying in bed.
Her mother Doreen told Stabroek News that her daughter spends most of her time in bed as it pains her when she stands or walks about for too long.
Explaining how her daughter got to her present state, Doreen said that during the latter part of October last year, she suddenly began crying out for pain in the right side which resulted in her being admitted to Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital. On November 1 an MRI was done at the Mercy Hospital and it showed that she had a “swelling with expansion of the cervical cord with diffuse long segment intramedullary lesion within the cervical cord from cervicomedullary junction to C6.”
Doreen said that the doctor told her that there was nothing that could be done since the condition was not curable. They were advised to either leave her in the hospital or take her home. A decision was made to take Corlette home after one week in hospital but this proved to be a mistake. At home, she was not getting any medication. She was unable to breathe properly and was having severe cramps to the right side.
The young woman was rushed back to Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital that night but was transferred to Georgetown Hospital two days later.
A second MRI was done on November 7 and it revealed that she had a tumour growing on the upper part of her spine.
Corlette’s parents were advised to seek further evaluation overseas as Guyana did not have the technology or medical personnel to properly diagnose her.
Doreen said that the doctor had told her that the problem was caught at an early stage but stressed that the condition her daughter suffers from is very complicated.
She said that so far they have managed to raise about $5.5M which includes donations from the Ministry of Health ($1M), relatives, CLICO, Rotaract, St. James-the-Less and members of the business community. The family had to mortgage their house to raise money to put towards the medical bill.
Speaking to Stabroek News from her bed, the young woman said that when she developed the problem, she was taking private maths classes. She said that she spends most of her days reading and watching television and sometimes she would go outside to get some breeze. Corlette said that the pain is always there.
Within the last five months, she has gained considerable weight and her parents said that this is because of the steroids she is taking.
Members of the public who are desirous of helping Tashana can deposit their contributions in account number 218 509 335 at Citizens Bank.