Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Jamaican athlete struck down by ailments, seeks help to walk again

Sophraya Price would give anything to walk again.

Sophraya Price would give anything to walk again.

Sophraya Price’s life has become a waking nightmare.

Two years ago, the Jamaican was your typical active university student playing sports like netball, posting selfies online and getting up to regular college girl shenanigans like shopping with her girlfriends.

Now she is in a fight to save her life, having been confined to a wheelchair. Her bones are fragile and brittle, she is prone to seizures, and she is in constant agony as her body has turned traitor, betraying her at every corner.

And she needs your help. The family and friends of Sophraya Price are appealing to the public to contribute to the young lady’s Gofundme page here.

“My life is a nightmare. I'm afraid to go out now because I'm prone to getting a fractured bone easily, and we Jamaicans have the tendency when greeting someone, to hit them,” she told Loop News reporter, Claude Mills.

“I had been getting treatment in Cuba. It’s been a year now since I last went to Cuba. I was supposed to go back in January, but because of insufficient funds and being back and forth in the hospital, we could not go back for my treatment, which is supposed to be once every three months, and my conditions (ailments) have been progressing really fast and I've developed other illnesses,” she said.

The treatment is a five-day course which costs US$5,000.

“However, with all these other conditions, we are not sure what other treatments and procedures will be needed when we go back to Cuba,” Price said.

On September 20, 2016, the young and vibrant university student went for a netball drill. She was fresh out of community college with an associate degree in social work, and had started university three weeks before.

Her eyes were set on her goal to do clinical work.

But while going through her routine, her legs suddenly went rubbery and weak, and she collapsed. She was taken to hospital, where within a week she became paralysed and suffered multiple seizures.

At first it was thought that she had a spinal injury. But the truth was much worse. She has a veritable laundry list of symptoms and conditions brought on by a rare neurological and autoimmune disorder.

She has been diagnosed with six different types of epileptic and non-epileptic seizures - osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, Raynaud's syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disease and query paraneoplastic syndrome. Confined to a wheelchair and with regular trips to the emergency room, Price needs continuous treatment and medical assessment.

“Battling with these conditions, it's really not easy. I mostly stay in bed because of severe pain. I cannot be in crowded places, I'm afraid that someone might bounce on me and cause more pain. There is so much going on with my body, it's really hard to explain. Each time I go to the doctor, there is a new diagnosis,” Price said.

She would give anything to walk again.

“My visits with each of my specialist is more frequent, so you know that it's more money too. I'm told they really can't help me here because they don't have certain resources. I know I can get the help in Cuba, but there is just not enough funds, so it gets me on my downside. I take so many medications and do treatments, and that's very costly. So when we do raise something, it goes straight to medications or visits to the doctor for other treatments,” she said.

Through it all, she is trying to remain optimistic.

“Overall, with all these conditions, I really do try to keep myself occupied, I might not be able to go out as much now, but I've now opened an online pet store..., plus I'm on some serious meds that make me sleep a lot that practically takes up most of my days,” Price added.

With hope for better days ahead, she is seeking the necessary support and assistance to get back on her feet.

Do help Sophie to walk again, if you can.

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