Mon | Oct 21, 2019

Ardenne student beats disorder to bag 10 ones in CSEC

Published:Wednesday | August 28, 2019 | 12:44 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
A proud Veletta Facey hugs her daughter, Ardenne student Dana Jones, as she celebrates attaining 10 ones in this year’s CSEC exams.
A proud Veletta Facey hugs her daughter, Ardenne student Dana Jones, as she celebrates attaining 10 ones in this year’s CSEC exams.

Despite the debilitating effect that a sleep breathing disorder had on her ability to study, Ardenne High School student Dana Jones beat the odds, going on to attain 10 grade ones in the recent sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations.

The 17-year-old sat biology, chemistry, physics, religious education, principles of business, Spanish, French, information technology, mathematics and English language.

Last October, Jones was diagnosed with upper airway resistance syndrome, which is characterised by increased respiratory effort and airflow limitation during sleep.

The aspiring entrepreneur said that she started experiencing trouble with sleeping as early as grade nine.

“I couldn’t sleep at night-time. Sometimes I get two hours of sleep and head to school the next morning, and I would suffer from serious fevers. I remember being sick … . Every time I try to get better, it just wouldn’t work out for me,” Jones told The Gleaner.

While overjoyed at her daughter’s success, Veletta Facey said dealing with the sleep breathing disorder was not easy.

“Very worrying … . I changed her bed, the mattress that she was sleeping on. I bought humidifiers for the room and I tried to get her to a sleep clinic just to sleep, but that was not available for her … ,” Facey said.

“Sometimes she’s up and I would say, ‘Dana, maybe you just need to do more exercise,’ so we start exercising together to see how tired she could get so she could fall asleep, and that was never the case,” she said.

Facey added that she is now making arrangements to purchase a sleep machine for her daughter.

The French Club president at the St Andrew-based school, Jones said that the sacrifices that her parents made for her have been a driving force in her life.

“Just seeing that my parents made so much effort for me to get a good education. I’m the first in family to get 10 ones. From an academic standpoint, I don’t necessarily have a role model, so I wanted to be one of the best or the best in my family … . That made me motivated,” she said.

Jones will enter lower sixth form in September.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com