Sashane Shakes – Staff Reporter
Renae Foster has been living a nightmare. On days when she is able to dodge her 7-year-old son’s question of whether or not he is going to die, she has to contend with the painful reality that if he doesn’t get the requisite help, he may in fact die soon.
“He keeps asking me, ‘Mummy me go dead? Tell me the honest truth,’ because he realizes what’s going on,” a burdened Foster shared.
Now caught in a scramble, Foster is running out of time to secure funds to cover the expenses concerning her ailing 7-year-old, Dre Morris. Morris was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia – a rare disease in which the bone marrow and the hematopoietic stem that cells that reside there are damaged, and unless he is able to participate in a study in the United States, he may not be cured of his illness.
Foster, a sales representative, has already secured passports for both her and her son, and plans are afoot to have the two obtain their visas. Additionally, through a referral programme at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, treatment and boarding are being covered by the host institution which will be treating Dre – the National Institute of Health, based in Maryland, USA.
The problem, however, is that Foster is unable to source airfare to and from the US, and has not been able to acquire much-needed funds to cover food for them both to last the required seven months.
For Dre and his rare illness, his treatment is expected to last up to five years in the US.
It was at their home in Porto Bello, St. James last October that foster started noticing subtle glitches in her son’s health, which she initially passed off as Flu symptoms. Dre would also have instances of fever that fluctuated from severely high to low, which brought with it a mild cough that eventually, with medication that was prescribed after a visit to the Montego Bay Comprehensive Clinic (Type V), went away.
“All of a sudden, him just ‘sicky sicky’. He’s been sick before but not like this. As him sick and better so, him sick again,” admitted Foster.
Shortly after, when it was believed that his Flu had cleared up, his skin started showing wheal marks. Foster presumed it to be the result of food poisoning, but then, the fever flared up again.
The final straw, however, was when Dre started having nose bleeds, as well as when he started vomiting blood, which resulted in Foster rushing him to the Cornwall Regional Hospital. There, his nose was plugged and blood tests conducted, which revealed that he had a low blood count as a result of Aplastic Anaemia.
“To me he probably has about six (6) months left to live if he doesn’t start receiving treatment soon. It sounds bad and I hate to think that way but it’s how I feel. I can’t stand to see the situation he’s in,” said a teary-eyed Foster.
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“The worst part is that he is a good kid. Anything me ask him to do, him do it. Me no feel say him deserve this,” said his mother.
A student of the Chetwood Memorial Primary, Dre got good grades and Foster relayed that his teacher and his classmates miss him.
Dre’s father, Clifford Morris, is hoping for a miracle for his son real soon. But his older brother, Raphel Ferguson, who also attends Chetwood Memorial Primary, sends positive energy to his brother by making encouraging short videos on his mother’s smartphone, which Foster shows to Dre on visits.
“Me just want me son fi go back to normal. Me will take all the help me can get fi him before the time run out. Him bright and him helpful, so him no deserve none a this.
“He keeps asking if he’s going to die. He didn’t really understand at first but as of late, he has been questioning me about it because he knows he’s supposed to be at school with other children. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare me a go through.”
Anyone wishing to help Dre Morris can contact his mother at (876) 281-5019.