By Shane Marks
Cancer continues to be one the leading causes of death worldwide. It continues to take lives in the most unexpected, heartbreaking way possible. To some, it’s a fearless disease that takes. To others, there is hope, once treatment and surgery are readily available.
Sunil France, a former fisherman stands in that grey area of people who are left in a loophole of uncertainty.
“When we first got to GPHC they said that it looked like a stroke, but then after we did a CT scan, then we saw the mass, and then they recommended an MRI. So, I took him to Mercy Hospital and got the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) done, and that’s when Dr Dukhi and his team went through the results and that’s how they came up with the diagnosis,” Tricia explained.
This 31-year-old husband and sole breadwinner for his family was diagnosed with brain cancer in November of last year, his wife, Tricia France, explained in an interview with this publication.
The crying woman said that her husband works out on the sea since he’s a fisherman. She detailed that her husband has complained about experiencing weakness and headaches. Being accustomed to her husband’s constant rotation of being sick after coming home, she never really took the matter into deeper thoughts.
However, this time, she did. She decided to take her husband to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where he subsequently underwent a series of testing. Doctors, on initial thoughts, suggested that the man had suffered from a stroke.
After undergoing a computerised tomography (CT) scan, it was discovered that Sunil had a mass growing in his brain, one that the doctors identified as cancerous. His diagnosis is mesencephalic mass lesion.
“He usually works out at sea, so he would not feel well. He was experiencing weakness and a severe headache, so I asked him to come home. I took him to a private hospital and then I took him to GPHC.
Help from GPHC“My husband, he was the sole breadwinner, with him not working, things have been extremely difficult because of the bills. The bills keep coming. For the past two weeks, it has now become even more extreme. He has to use more pampers because he’s just laying in bed. He was only discharged from the hospital two days now.”
Sunil has been surviving from a feeding tube. “He’s using a feeding tube. I have to give him his Supligen and blending stuff so that he can use it. So, it has been hard,” the woman cried.
Tricia expressed that when she found out the nature of her husband’s nine-year-long condition, she was shocked, but her surprise quickly faded to the sidelines as she began thinking of the next step forward to help her husband through this dark stage of his life.
“I was very shocked at first. But my next reaction would have been how can I help him. I began to ask questions on the next step forward,” she said bravely.
Sunil is the sole breadwinner for the family of two and it has been hard for Tricia to maintain the bills and all the expenses on her own. However, Tricia operates a small catering business, but she said this “side hustle” does not make enough money to sustain the family. The struggling wife told his publication that it has been even harder over the past two weeks.
Sunil has to undergo a stereotactic brain biopsy which is a surgical procedure where a thin needle is inserted into the brain by a neurosurgeon to extract a small piece of tissue to examine under a microscope. This surgical procedure is not offered in Guyana.
With research and help from doctors from the GPHC, Tricia managed to get a quotation from a hospital in Columbia that offers the procedure required to save her husband’s life. This, however, is an expensive procedure.
The surgery costs US$48,100, which is approximately GY$10,003,802. The Health Ministry has already assisted in paying $1 million of the cost.
Tricia is reaching out to the public and asking for assistance to save her husband’s life.
“I would like for the public to help me to raise the money so that I can carry him for the surgery that he can be able to live because he is so young and, in the meantime, if there can be assistance also to help me with pampers, and stuff to feed him, I would so much appreciate that,” Tricia cried during the interview.
Sunil’s state has been deteriorating as the days go by. With every second that passes, he is getting worse. Persons wishing to help save Sunil’s life can contact his wife who is standing by his side on (592) 683-5351.