Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Watch:Trini woman pleads for int'l medical help to fix skin condition

Charmaine Sahadeo is pleading for international medical assistance to remove the multitude of tumours across her face and body. 

Charmaine, a mother of two,  has an extreme case of neurofibromatosis -- a genetic disorder that causes painful lumps and growths to develop on the body. 

In addition to her face and body, she also has three giant growths on her right leg. She has always had the condition but the growths were unnoticeable until she gave birth to her second son.

Doctors told her that her pregnancy triggered the growth of the hormones of neurofibromatosis.

"For my first pregnancy, everything was normal; after my second birth I noticed my right leg was swollen to the point where I couldn’t wear pants," she said. 

The tumours grew rapidly and she has had at least two surgeries in an attempt to cut them off. Unfortunately, they grew back and local doctors are not equipped to remove them. She began doing research online and saw that there were procedures such as laser surgery to remove the tumours but only abroad. 

International news agency Associated Press featured her story on Thursday which later went viral. She posted a video talking about her condition with the hopes of finding a doctor who could help. 

"I did the video hoping to get something like laser surgery instead of cutting off because it just grows back," Charmaine told Loop. 

Charmaine tries to lead a positive life as much as she can but it's still a struggle. Since she cannot work, she receives disability but it's not enough for her and her two sons. She cannot walk far or stand for a long time as the weight of the all the growths is too much and gets painful.

It's hard, she says, to go out as people tend to stare and make remarks. She's even heard someone question why hasn't she taken her own life. 

"I try not to let it affect me," she said. "I have to live my life, I can’t afford to take on people's negativity. I let them know why should I commit suicide? I’m alive and I’m happy, I can talk, I have friends, I have two kids, I've experienced life."

She wants desperately to get relief and is turning abroad to the UK, US and Australia to try and find anyone who can help her.

“It’s very painful, especially my leg. Right now when I squeeze the bump something like a large blackhead comes out. Sometimes if you do that they can become infected. Once my entire finger swelled up and it was very painful. I have to be very careful.

“It is the ones by my eyes that concern me the most. The doctors say they could remove them to stop them blocking any vision but I am too afraid of the risk to my eyesight. I really worry something could go wrong.” 

She said her mother and two brothers all have it as well. She had a third brother who died from cancer but started to develop the condition before his death. 

If you'd like to help Charmaine or know a medical expert who can help, you can email her at charmainesahadeo@gmail.com

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