Mystery illness crippling mother of three

September 20, 2023
Kamara Brissett has to depend on her brother to carry her around, as her mobility has been severely hampered due to her illness.
Kamara Brissett has to depend on her brother to carry her around, as her mobility has been severely hampered due to her illness.
Kamara Brissett is no longer able to sit up on her own.
Kamara Brissett is no longer able to sit up on her own.

At this time last year, Kamara Brissett was experiencing discomfort in her back but was still making ends meet for her family.

She worked at a restaurant and was constructing a shop in her yard in Rose Heights, St James. Her aim was to be her own boss and make herself more independent. But for the past several months, a mysterious illness has crippled the independence and mobility of the 35-year-old mother of three.

Brissett struggled to breathe as she spoke to THE STAR yesterday and had to pause on several occasions to catch her breath. She is paralysed from the waist down and unable to sit up on her own. Currently being cared for by her brother Halwayne Brissett and her eldest child. Brissett said she cannot afford medical assistance. Thankfully, the father of her three children, ages 15, 13 and three, is providing for them. But she is reaching out to the public for assistance.

"This morning [yesterday] I wanted to go outside and my brother had to call someone to help him. Staying in the house makes me very frustrated. Sunday gone I feel like I was going to die, honestly. I have been vomiting for the past two weeks and I have shortness of breath. I want to go to the clinic but I don't have the funds . My sister and aunt came to visit me and I got two packs of diapers. I am spent all out. When I shared my story on TikTok, a couple of persons reached out and helped and I am thankful," she said.

Brissett said that last year when she began having pain in her lower back and stomach, she was given a catheter when she visited the Cornwall Regional Hospital, and was admitted for four days. An MRI showed that Brissett was suffering from a herniated disc and she was referred to the neurology clinic and given medication. A herniated disc, which can occur in any part of the spine, most often occurs in the lower back. Depending on its location, it can cause pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.

"When I buy the first set of medication, I could only afford only one week supply and I couldn't afford to buy the other set because the illness has prevented me from working. The pain start to get worse and I went back to the clinic and tell them. I was still walking but in September, my legs started getting weak," she said. A month later, Brissett said her right leg stopped moving and by November, so did the left.

"It was November 6 and none of my legs were moving. I couldn't sit up or anything. My brother took me back to the hospital and they admitted me, and by that time I just couldn't do anything for myself. I stayed in the hospital until April of this year. I got medication and I got physiotherapy daily. Two weeks before I got out of the hospital, I felt some crawling sensation in my upper body and my right arm started getting weak," she said.

She said the doctors are uncertain about her diagnosis and told her that it could be a case of transverse myelitis, which is an inflammation of part of the spinal cord, or multiple sclerosis, a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. Brissett said her house is located far from the main road, so her brother sometimes has to carry her on his back should she need to go out. He is now enduring back pain.

"Thankfully, brother is here with me for most of the day; he doesn't leave my side but I know it is hard on him. Any help I could receive, even to buy diapers, I would appreciate. Sometimes people would promise to help and it doesn't happen but I know everyone has it hard. I would really like to get back on my feet again. I am praying for it," she said.

Persons wishing to assist Kamara Brissett may contact her brother Halwayne at 876-501-2932.

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