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Health Ministry answers heart patient’s prayer

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Stephanie Mohammed

Ailing mother Stephanie Mohammed yesterday celebrated with her husband after getting promising news that the Ministry of Health had granted approval for her to undergo a free medical study for a painful heart condition.

Mohammed, 27, of Cunjal Road, Barrackpore, suffers from atrial fibrillation, an erratic beating of the heart, which if left untreated could result in death.

She was diagnosed in 2015 while she was pregnant with her last child Alieyah. She has two other children— Aleema, four and Aleem aged seven.

Mohammed said the news of the medical treatment means that she can look forward to a life without pain.

She said the $53,000 electro-physiology study (EPS) will assess her abnormal heart rhythm and determine whether she has to undergo further heart surgery.

The EPS will help doctors understand the nature of Mohammed’s abnormal heart rhythm by testing the electrical activity of her heart to find the source of the abnormal heartbeat.

Mohammed said this is the second EPS to be done at the Advanced Cardio Vascular Institute at West Shore Medical Centre. She said her doctor confirmed yesterday that all approvals had been granted and the surgery will be scheduled soon.

“Sometimes the pain is so unbearable that I just lie down. I can’t play with the children and sometimes I cannot do the housework.

The doctor prescribed some strong painkillers but I could not get them as yet. I am looking forward to being healthy and strong because I want to live for my husband and our children,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed’s story was featured in the T&T Guardian last December.

Several Good Samaritans were moved by Mohammed’s pain when they saw her sitting on the floor of her ply-board house under a Christmas tree devoid of decorations.

Mohammed’s husband Shazim works at a grocery for minimum wage and Mohammed said it was difficult meeting her medical bills.

Her elder brother, Rias, has been assisting but Mohammed said she was praying that she could resume a healthy lifestyle after undergoing heart surgery.

She said doctors were baffled over her diagnosis as atrial fibrillation usually occurred in older people.

Contacted yesterday, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said he was happy to help Mohammed.

“We are fixing all systems so the average person can have their matters attended to expeditiously. It is all part of the culture change of putting the patient first,” Deyalsingh said.

Saying he was glad to see his efforts bearing fruit, Deyalsingh said Mohammed’s approvals shows that the Ministry of Health was on the right track. Anyone wanting to assist Mohammed can contact her at 360-4373.


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