Wed | Jun 19, 2024

Mystery condition robs young brothers of ability to walk

Published:Sunday | May 19, 2024 | 12:11 AMBarbara Gayle - Gleaner Writer
Fifteen-year-old Amari Carby and 10-year-old Kemoy Allen.
Fifteen-year-old Amari Carby and 10-year-old Kemoy Allen.

It is a real mystery, to many residents in the rural district of Clifton in Bernard Lodge, St Catherine, how two brothers - 15-year-old Amari Carby and 10-year-old Kemoy Allen, were rendered paraplegic just months apart.

“The boys used to be very active, going to school and church and playing and having fun with other children but now they are wheelchair-bound and seldom speak,” one resident remarked.

“My heart aches every time I see them and I wish I could do something to improve their condition. What bothers me most is that no one, not even the doctors, can say what caused them to end up [unable to use their legs],” a concerned resident said last week.

Cynthia Brivit, the assistant leader of the community service department at the Clifton Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church plays an active role in the lives of the boys as their mother finds it very difficult to cope with the situation.

Brivit ensures that the boys attend church every Sabbath and during the week she helps to take care of them.

‘They are in need of so many things and it is frustrating at times to see that they lack things for their basic needs. Some of the things they need right now are Pampers, adult gloves to use when changing their Pampers, clothes and food items,” disclosed Brivit.

When asked for the cause of their physical condition, Brivit responded, “Nobody can say, not even their mother.”

Condition deteriorated

Brivit said Amari first began ‘walking funny’ and was taken for medical treatment but his condition deteriorated and eventually he became paralysed.

“Sometime after, Kemoy began walking in an unusual manner and his parents and residents thought he was imitating his brother. But, when they realised he was losing strength in his feet and was falling, he was taken for medical examination and the doctor confirmed that he was genuinely losing control of movements in his lower limbs,” Brivit said last week.

She said people in the community were very sympathetic and concerned about the boys, but most of all they were very puzzled about what kind of disease could have left them so disabled.

Members of the Clifton SDA Church and the community do their best to help the boys, Brivit explained.

“However, I must explain that it is not an easy task looking after the boys because, at times, it is difficult to lift them out of the wheelchair so I have to call on community members to assist.

“I get them ready for church on Sabbath mornings and I see them smiling when they are in church. They hardly speak but they smile a lot,” said Brivit.

Real challenge

One of Brivit’s concerns is that the boys have not been to school since they became paraplegic. She said they are seldom taken for medical care because it is a real challenge for their mother, both physically and financially, to do so.

“These boys should be going to school despite their physical disabilities because the government says every child must attend school,” Brivit reiterated. When asked a question, they will reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but cannot formulate a sentence, she added.

A very concerned Brivit said “something must be done urgently to help to alleviate the boys’ plight, because their lives are just being wasted away, day after day.”

Brivit is calling on government officials to help the boys to go to school and to get regular medical attention. She is also pleading with organisations and concerned citizens to help the boys in whatever way they can so they can cope better and live more comfortably despite their disabilities.

‘May is celebrated as Child Month and all kinds of activities and plans are made to improve the lives of children so I am hoping that something special will be done to improve the quality of life for these two disabled brothers,” Brivit pleaded.

Anyone willing to help Amari and Kemoy can call Brivit at 876-394 8951 or contact the Community Service Department at the Clifton Seventh-day Adventist Church.