Kato mother of 8 with rare brain tumor seeks financial help for surgery 

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A 50-year-old mother of eight of Kato Village, Region Eight is seeking financial assistance to offset the cost of a surgery to drain the fluid from a rare brain tumor.

Junita Gomes was diagnosed with Acoustic Neuroma on March 05, 2019. A year later after a MRI, Gomes is now diagnosed with CP angle brain tumor and Obstructive Hydrocephalus.

An Acoustic Neuroma or vestibular schwannoma is a benign tumor that develops on the balance and auditory nerves leading from the inner ear to the brain.

Gomes’ sister, Maria Jeffers told the News Room that the surgery, which will be done at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Georgetown, will cost about $1.8M.

Maria Jeffers and her sister Junita Gomes in happier times

Another surgery to remove the tumor will cost over $4M.

“The doctor said this measure is just temporary to save her from further deteriorating but she will still need that surgery to remove the tumor further down,” Jeffers said.

Jeffers said her sister is rapidly deteriorating; she is now bedridden having lost her eyesight, her balance, her appetite and taste, her speech.

She also experiences constant seizures.

In 2018, Gomes complained of severe headaches and subsequently visited the Georgetown Public Hospital in March 2019 where she diagnosed with the tumor.

Jeffers said the family then took Gomes for a second opinion at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital, where it was confirmed. Gomes returned to Kato to try and raise the money for the surgery.

Junita Gomes is now bedridden.

“In the whole year after she went back to Kato, she lost her job where she was the caretaker for the Government guesthouse, later on in the year around November she started to drag her feet and around January [2020] she started to have blurred vision,” Jeffers explained.

Subsequently, in February 2020, Gomes completely lost her sight and is also now deaf in the right side ear.

She is a mother of eight children, one of whom is the community health worker in Kato; another is studying nursing and another one is a student of the University of Guyana.

Gomes worked as the caretaker for the Government guesthouse in Kato for the past 13 years.

After her condition worsened, Gomes was transported to Georgetown in March this year, where she remains until the surgery can be done.

For more information, you can contact the family on +592 615 3696 and assist Gomes in having the surgery done as soon as possible. Financial donations can be deposited into a Citizens Bank Account # 218364464.

“It is very difficult knowing that my sister worked and took care of government officials in the past and present governments and knowing that they just wrote her off of the payroll and she is just waiting now on her time, if we don’t get this surgery as soon as possible,” Jeffers said.

Jeffers also said the family has tried to get an appointment with the Ministry of Health for assistance but has been unsuccessful so far.

Meanwhile, Jeffers is also the survivor of another rare brain tumor. She was diagnosed in early 2017 with a sphenoid bone tumor. She had a surgery done in July the same year in the United States to remove the tumor.

Jeffers is doing well with no deficit and continues to work in the medical field.

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