Struggling single mother with walking disability seeks assistance for treatment abroad


By Lazeena Yearwood

Three years ago, 30-year-old Stacyann Van Rossum, a single mother of two young boys, lost her ability to walk. To date, despite numerous attempts, doctors have not been able to diagnose her illness and Van Rossum is struggling to provide for her children.

As a matter of fact, she solely depends on them for help. But she is hoping to make life better for her children as she is now seeking the public’s help in order to get treatment overseas.

Stacyann, better known as Stacy, spoke with the News Room at her Mocha, East Bank Demerara home on Tuesday.

Her life started to crumble in October 2020 when she suddenly realised her balance was not good. Stacy eventually sought medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital but as her doctors ran multiple tests, the woman’s condition worsened until she could no longer walk.

Her young sons – ages 16 and 10 – help her with all the daily duties, including bathing and even switching positions when sitting. Stacy has seen many doctors and three years later, none of them have been able to diagnose her condition.

“It is really, really hard because when my kids go to school, I does get sudden falls and when I fall down, it’s hard for me to get up. If I go in the yard, I fall. I have to creep and try pulling up back myself to get up back into the home,” Stacyann said.

But how did Stacy become ill? She believes it is from a hit to her back some ten years ago. She didn’t take it seriously and she is of the view that her spine shifted over time, leading to her inability to walk.

Stacyann Van Rossum cannot walk on her own and the doctors are yet to diagnose the cause (Photo: News Room/ February 7, 2023)

Stacy gets pain in her legs and suffers severe headaches. She said sometimes her body shakes uncontrollably because she cannot move like she used to. She also has to visit the clinic every two weeks because of her condition.

Her eldest son has missed school on many days because she needs him at home to help.

It is hard to know that they have to stay home from school just to look after me,” she said, adding that sometimes she has to call the school to send them home to help her.

The distraught mother is devastated that this has become her life.

Stacy started building her house on leased lands at Mocha before her symptoms worsened. The two-bedroom house barely has enough space for her family and the walls inside are not yet completed. The church had helped her build this house.

But after losing her ability to walk, she could no longer afford to continue building the house or improve it. The state of the undeveloped tracts leading to her house also makes it difficult for persons to access her in addition to the provision of home-care services.

“I do things because I have to because it’s just the two of them. I have to sit down to wash…I really a seeking help to go abroad because I know what the doctors can see abroad, we can’t see here. I know it could fix,” Stacy said.

She is adamant that her life could return to normalcy with the right help.

While she knows her living conditions need to be improved, she said getting better is the only relief she really seeks. Currently, with no monetary assistance from any family members, Stacy and her sons try to survive on the $14,000 public assistance from the government on a monthly basis.

But the young mother is hopeful that she can get assistance from the public so that she can seek treatment overseas.

Persons interested in helping Stacy can contact her on 685-5423.

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