Lynear Johnson update, April 8
- 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
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