Help for Asia

On September 6th, 2017 we the residence of the Virgin Islands were ravished by Hurricane Irma. My husband and our 4 children ranging from age 8 to 6 months, took shelter at a family members home. Our home sustained damage and we lost 70% of our home furnishing when the roof was torn off. Times were hard as we did not have electricity for months nor running water.

On November 23rd, 2017 my eldest daughter Asia and I had to be air ambulance to Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami Florida, due to the lack of resources on island, when tumors were discovered in her brain. Upon arrival we were scheduled for an MRI which revealed that there were tumors throughout her little brain and down her spine, corrupting many of her vertebrae. The doctors informed us that her specific case cannot be treated via surgery and her best bet would be Chemotherapy. They also informed us that the tumors were causing increased pressure to her brain and they needed to place a shunt in her skull to relieve the excess fluids. The thought of brain surgery was extremely scary but we trusted the doctors and consented. We also decided to proceed with weekly chemotherapy, which meant another surgery to place a Port in her chest, so she could easily receive the medication.

On the night of January 1st Asia told me her legs were tingling. The next morning, she could not walk, she was paralyzed from the waist down. This prompted doctors to perform immediate surgery as the new MRI showed and increase in the tumors located on her spine. They attempted to remove that portion of the tumor, hoping it would alleviate the pressure on the nerve and she would regain feeling in her legs. A week passed and she still had no feeling. Scar tissue from the surgery prevented fluids from circulating from her spine to her brain. This meant they had to reopen the scar and try to reduce the scar tissue. At that time,they decided to remove more of the tumor in hopes that this would reverse her condition. It did not. By this time Asia had lost so much weight that we had a Gastronomy Tube placed to help her gain weight. This surgery was particularly hard as she would cry before each, begging me not to make her do it. However, this time she just waved “bye” as they strolled her away. It was as if she had given up and that was more crushing than anything I have ever experienced.

In March she began to lose her sight. She had extreme double and blurred vision. For a child that loved to read this was devastating. She began to show less and less interest in anything at all. It was that month we decided to stop chemotherapy. It had been 4 months and she was not getting better at all. In fact, her health had declined since the day we got the initial news of her diagnosis.

We decided to seek homeopathic remedies to health. By this time Asia was all but a vegetable. Barely able to speak, only answering yes or no. She slept most days. Due to her paralysis she wears diapers and cannot feel when she needs to use the bathroom. By May she had stopped breathing and we had to rush to the Emergency Room. A breathing tube was placed and we were told that if the tube was removed she would have a few minutes, so we should call friends and family to say goodbye. As Christians, we refused to believe that this was the end. We had faith that Asia would live to see her 9th birthday and even her 90th. Against medical advice we asked that the tube be removed after 4 days. Asia took the biggest and deepest breath and so did we. Her vitals were perfect and we were released in 24 hours. With this latest bump in the road we decided it best to return home to the Virgin Islands. We understood that the medical resources are limited, however, sometimes being around family and friends and someplace familiar is the best cure.

It is now August and Asia will be 9 years old soon. Her birthday is August 12th. We communicate by signaling yes or no. She lifts her hand to say yes and leave it down to say no. She remains paralyzed, and her upper body suffers with extreme muscle spasms. Her arms can barely move and she no longer eats by mouth. We have faith that Asia will be a testimony for others one day soon. Starting this account will help us to rebuild our home and pay medical bills. We have been so blessed over the years and continue to be blessed with 4 children. This is merely a bump in the road and we thank you and appreciate any and all contributions made on our behalf.
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Tiffany Brewley 
St Thomas, VI

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