While a normal three-year-old is a bundle of energy and always on the go, little Zhavea Jute is confined to her bed unable to move depending only on her mother because of spinal bifida with myelomeningocele and possible hydrocephalus.
Spinal bifida is a condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth. It is a type of neural tube defect. This condition can happen anywhere along the spine if the neural tube does not close all the way and the backbone that protects the spinal cord does not form and close as it should.
This often results in damage to the spinal cord and nerves.
Jute is in need of $368,000 to offset her medical bills at Nemours Children Health System in the United States.
Jute’s mother Kim Seedram said through donations the family has raised $25,000 and have received two tickets from Caribbean Airlines.
Speaking with Newsday, Seedram said after no acknowledgement after writing letters to the Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh, MP for Caroni East Dr Tim Gopeesingh and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, she is appealing to the general public for assistance. Deyalsingh could not be contacted yesterday.
Seedram said Jute has been accepted at the Children’s Hospital in Delaware and is expected to leave TT on March 19.
She said her daughter was diagnosed with the complication from birth and has been seen by several doctors at the Children’s Hospital in Mt Hope.
“The doctors just manage the situation at Mt Hope with follow ups. She underwent previous surgeries including by Dr Toby who has surgically corrected her right foot which was clubbed, a corrected splint was recommended.
“Since then she has deteriorated to the point in which both feet have to now be corrected along with the closing of her spine cord by the neurosurgeons at Nemours Hospital.”
Seedram said myelomeningocele is the most serious type of spinal bifida.
She said with the condition, a sac of fluid goes through an opening in the baby’s back and part of the spinal cord and nerves in this sac are damaged.
“This type of spinal bifida causes moderate to severe disabilities, such as problems affecting how the child goes to the bathroom, loss of feeling in the legs and not being able to move the legs.
“Her surgery is scheduled for March 23. If I can get $10 from everyone it can chip in and add up. I am appealing to the readers, as a parent I have to fight. I am going through a divorce and as single parent it is ridiculously difficult. I also have an 11-year-old who will be writing his SEA examination just now.
“As a parent I cannot give up but it is very difficult. I am currently living off my family and the little savings I have. I will appreciate all the help I can get at the moment from anyone.
“I want to take this opportunity to humbly thank you in anticipation for your generous contribution which can be deposited into Republic Bank Account name Zhavea Jute. Her account number is 870 018 523 501.”
Anyone willing to help baby Jute can also contact Seedram at 710-9207.