VINCENT Facey broke down in tears as he viewed the body of his 19-year-old daughter Shakera yesterday morning. The sight was more than he could bear.
“‘Shackout,’ a you dat!” he wailed as he identified the body of the youngest of his four children. ‘Shackout’ was the name he had fondly called her since she was a child. “It hard, man. It really, really hard,” Facey later told the Jamaica Observer as he came to terms with her death.
“Mi feel it, mi feel it to mi heart! Mi nearly faint weh when mi si her, man. I was in bed about 10:30 last night (Sunday) and get the call that she dead. I was so frightened.
The most I could do is come out of the house and walk up to one of my brother’s yard and drop down on the verandah.
My forehead nearly kill me, like it was tearing off.” Shakera was pronounced dead after 10:00 pm Sunday while at Hope Institute in Mona, where she was awaiting further medical treatment for what was diagnosed as osteosarcoma, a cancerous bone tumour that usually develops in teenagers.
Sometimes a sudden fracture of the bone is the first symptom as affected bone is not as strong as normal bones and may fracture with minor trauma, as in Shakera’s case when she tried to break her fall with her left hand after slipping in June last year.
In October, the tumour began to grow so fast that it rendered her unable to carry out basic tasks for herself. Shakera’s condition was brought to the public’s attention two Sundays ago when her story was featured in the Sunday Observer of February 1, sparking international response from readers who offered to assist the young girl to access medical treatment.
Shakera, who spoke to the Observer up to last Saturday via phone, said that she was in severe pain despite being given morphine, and was still experiencing shortness of breath.
At the time she was struggling to speak clearly. Last week, medical personnel, headed by surgeon and president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association Dr Alfred Dawes, drained fluid from the teen’s stomach, which they say could have resulted in the collapse of her lungs.
Yesterday, her father, who last spoke with his daughter via phone Sunday evening, said he could not understand what she was saying at the time and shortly after her phone was disconnected.
Believing that it was due to a lack of credit, he sent some to her cellular phone with the intention of visiting her yesterday. That never happened.
But Facey said he has come to terms with the situation, as hard as it may be.
“You si from it happen already, I’m not going to worry myself,” he said. “When she was sick I was more worried, because she was in so much pain.
It get to me more time now still, but I try not to let the feelings overcome mi.” Facey said he still feels that if she had got the chance to go overseas for treatment her chances of survival would have been better.
However, he said has accepted that it is best that she has gone ‘home’ to rest, rather than endure the level of pain that she was feeling. “I won’t lie, I prefer dead than live in so much pain. So mi feel she better off than to live in so much pain.
From she not getting any better and the pain licking her — Jah know, the pain was wicked! It wicked! Mi agree that life is the greatest, but bwoy, the pain was rough on her,” he said, his voice heavy with depression.
Facey said his family, as well as his community of Redwood, St Catherine are in mourning, as they are trying to come to terms with Shakera’s death. “She was a sweet, sweet child,” Facey said.
“So I don’t know what kind of a disaster that reach her. But is so it go.”