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Lynear Johnson update, April 8

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  • John Wilmer
    From the Stabroek News: First round of surgery successful for teen with skin cancer Saturday, April 8th 2006 Skin cancer teenager, Lynear Johnson, had surgery
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 8, 2006
      From the Stabroek News:

      First round of surgery successful for teen with skin cancer
      Saturday, April 8th 2006

      Skin cancer teenager, Lynear Johnson, had surgery performed successfully on
      Thursday on part of her face and she is expected to return to the theatre
      sometime next week to have the other part of her face operated on, according
      to her mother, Vanessa Bellamy.

      Nineteen-year-old Johnson and her mother are in the US where the young woman
      is receiving cancer treatment at the Brooklyn Hospital, sponsored by the
      Health and Education Reform for Guyana, based in New York.

      This assistance came after the teenager experienced months of agony as the
      cancer resulted in painful abscesses on her face and parts of her neck.
      Johnson is an albino and her skin has no protection from the sun.

      Bellamy told Stabroek News by phone from New York that the operation
      commenced at around 10:30 on Thursday morning and the girl never left the
      theatre until around 8:30 in the night. The woman said she broke down
      several times when her daughter left the theatre as she could not bear to
      see her child surrounded by all the machines.

      Although the doctors have determined that the surgery is a success, Bellamy
      said her daughter is in intensive care and she is being fed through a tube.
      She said she cannot speak because of the tube in her mouth but she opened
      one eye sometime after the surgery and taking her hand from under the sheet
      she squeezed her mother's hand as she sat at her bedside.

      The young woman's other eye is bandaged because one of the abscesses is
      close to the eye. Bellamy said the doctors performed the surgery on the
      section of the face beneath the eyes right down to her neck where an abscess
      had formed. She said they removed skin from another part of her body and
      grafted it over the operated section.

      According to the mother the doctors told her that when they complete the
      next operation, plastic surgery would then be performed on her daughter.

      It is because of Lynear's low blood count that the entire operation was not
      done at one go. Bellamy said Lynear had to receive two pints of blood before
      she was operated on and would have to receive more before the second round
      of surgery.

      She said the doctors have told her that within the next two days her
      daughter would be removed from the machines.

      Yesterday she said Lynear was resting peacefully at the hospital but she did
      not go to see her as it is too painful to see her surrounded by the
      machines. She called several times.

      "The doctors say Lynear is a fighter," Bellamy told this newspaper, adding
      that the doctors reported that they had removed all the cancerous cells from
      the area they operated on.

      After all the surgeries are performed Lynear would be placed on chemotherapy
      for about six weeks and it is expected that she would not see properly out
      of the right eye until the treatment is over.

      Bellamy said herself and daughter have been treated quite well since their
      arrival in the US on March 22. She said her daughter is like a celebrity as
      many persons have visited her room and prayed for her.

      "If you see Lynear room, full with flowers, teddy bears and people come and
      see her size and go and buy clothes, bedroom slippers everything, Lynear ent
      want nothing," the mother said.

      The two had first travelled to Trinidad for Lynear to be treated but had to
      return after doctors there could do nothing for her.

      They then travelled to the US through the help of Valerie Sharpe, Chairman
      of the Region Ten Welfare Commit-tee, who sought sponsorship for the
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