8-year-old needs surgery to fix broken leg

June 20, 2019
Kevardo Rhoden (left) and his mother, Kareema Douglas.
Kevardo Rhoden (left) and his mother, Kareema Douglas.
Kevardo Rhoden shows his leg that was damaged while playing on a swing at his school.
Kevardo Rhoden shows his leg that was damaged while playing on a swing at his school.

On October 25, 2018, eight-year-old Kevardo Rhoden was enjoying a day on the swing set at the Hope Valley Experimental School along John Golding Road, St Andrew, when tragedy struck.

As he swung, a metal section of the structure fell on him and broke his leg.

The school quickly stepped in and provided assistance for Rhoden and his mother, Kareema Douglas.

By December, her son had undergone five surgeries.

Seven months after the incident, Rhoden went back to school. However, his mother received further bad news that his leg was not healing properly and that he needs an iron pin to straighten his bones.

"He spent three months in hospital where a pin was placed in his foot, but it got infected and they had to take it out. They said they were going to high cast the foot and then they said they wouldn't bother. Last Friday, when an X-ray of his foot was done, the foot was in S-like shape. So they (the hospital) said they have to put in a pin to get his foot straightened. I asked if it will be infected again, and they said no," she said.

Douglas has medical documents stating that the surgery costs roughly J$111,000 and the cost of the items needed is J$20,430. However, she said that she is unable to afford it.

"I have four children, and I work as a janitor. Mi nah tell no lie, enuh, the school step up when the incident happen, but me need to find out who is responsible for this now because I don't have the money to pay for this. I just want him foot to be fixed and get looked after," she said.


A frightened Douglas said that she rushed to the school to tell them about the development. However, she said she was told that they would not be responsible for this upcoming surgery.

She told THE STAR that the school referred her to the University Hospital of the West Indies, where the first set of surgeries were done, and under whose watch the infection occurred.

She said that when she went there and spoke with a social worker, she was told to speak with someone at the Education Ministry.

"I went to ministry this morning (yesterday), and the lady I spoke with told me that the school does not have any money. He (Rhoden) is just eight years old. The lady was saying that the school spends a lot and does a lot and I said to her," 'I understand, but my child cannot stay like that. He was not hurt at home'. If him walk from one section to another, him a bawl for pain, so this need to correct," she said.

When the news team contacted the principal of the school, Anthony Grant, he declined to give a comment, adding that we should speak to the ministry as they have knowledge of that incident.

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