Former sports journalist battling mysterious illness


By Devina Samaroo

Sports enthusiast, Rene Stoby was forced to shelf his journalistic career after he was gripped with an illness that affected his mobility and speech.

More than a year later, doctors are unable to identify the disease and Rene remains bedridden hoping for a miracle.

Rene, 35, was a marketing executive and budding sports journalist – full of life and laughter.

Before and after photos of Rene Stoby

Local and international doctors have so far been unable to identify the illness and family members are now praying for a miracle.

His mother, Joanie James never thought she would have to take care of her grown son. Some days are really difficult, she said.

Rene started to experience muscle spasms in 2016 – when he was still employed as a journalist at the Guyana Times. The spasms were extremely painful and eventually, he was forced to leave the job.

His condition rapidly deteriorated with time and now, his left arm is practically stuck in an almost right angle position. His mother explained that when the muscles get tense, Rene is left in excruciating pain.

The illness has caused him to lose tremendous weight, and now he eats mostly blended foods. Rene mostly spends his days in bed at his home in Beterverwagting, East Coast of Demerara (ECD), in the care of his mother. He cannot speak but he can still communicate via text messages. Rene cannot walk without assistance and he often feels weak.

Rene Stoby and his son last year.

Rene’s condition, however, continues to deteriorate and while his family fears the worst, this young man is extremely worried about the impact his health will have on his six-year-old son, Xavier.

His family has since set up a GoFundMe account and they are pleading with members of the public and corporate Guyana to support. The funds raised will cover medical expenses as family members continue on the journey to help Rene.

The account can be accessed at

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