No more severe abdominal pains for young girl with pancreatitis


By Vishani Ragobeer

Two years ago, 15-year-old Ameshia Dyal started experiencing severe abdominal pains. Then, medical workers were trying to ascertain what could possibly be causing the young woman to experience these excruciating pains moreso, at such a young age. There were some assumptions, but never anything definitive.

Subsequently, the pain became so intense that the young Dyal had to be rushed to the emergency room on several occasions.

“When the pain comes, it does start like something slight and like two minutes after it does start like really bad (and) you does have to go to the emergency (room),” the young girl told the News Room on Wednesday.

Understandably, experiencing this pain- which came without warning- prevented her from regularly attending her classes at the Zeeburg Secondary school on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD), Region Three (Essequibo Islands- West Demerara).

This pain was not only felt by young Dyal but her family too.

In fact, her mother, Omwantie Dyal stated, “When she start holler, she does roll and we does start cry too ‘cause yuh nah know wah fuh do.”

Simply recounting the experience brought much anguish to the mother, who burst into tears despite her best efforts not to.

Ameshia’s mother, Omwantie Dyal (Photo: News Room/ July 8, 2021) 

Eventually, however, after a team of surgeons and medical professionals at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) ‘put their heads together’, they were able to identify what was plaguing the young girl.

“When Ms Dyal first presented in the clinic, she came with severe abdominal pains and through numerous investigations we found that she had an issue with her pancreas,” Surgeon and Registrar of General Surgery at the GPHC, Dr. Christopher Chung told the News Room.

That issue was pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. This was caused by the presence of both gallstones and some issues with the drainage of the pancreas.

As Dr. Chung explained, the pancreas is an organ in the body’s abdomen that is responsible for producing digestive juices that help to break down food eaten.

Having positively identified what had been affecting Dyal, the doctors were able to plan her course of treatment.

Initially, they wanted to pursue non-invasive treatment which meant that they would insert a tube down her throat and treat her instead of performing a surgical procedure.

That, however, did not pan out and they had to engage in the surgical procedure. The surgery was done in February, earlier this year.

“We had success with this and we are quite happy with the outcome,” Dr. Chung said.

Surgeon and Registrar of General Surgery at the GPHC, Dr. Christopher Chung (Photo: News Room/ July 7, 2021)

Since then, the doctors have been monitoring her and following up with her weekly to ensure that she is recovering well. They also repeated blood tests to ensure that the condition she had was indeed resolved.

“In these difficult cases, a team of surgeons come up with the best plan for the best treatment to get the best outcomes,” Dr. Chung said, applauding the work of his colleagues.

For Dyal, on the other hand, she no longer has to grapple with such excruciating pain- though she did relate that she experiences minor pains intermittently.

She has, however, been able to return to regular schooling, though she has her hands filled with ‘catching up’ up all that she missed out on.

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