'It is bone-crushing pain' | News - Jamaica Gleaner
Jun 13, 2021 1 min, 32 secs

As baby Noel continued to seemingly writhe in pain, he was immediately rushed to the intensive care unit (ICU) where he was diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD).

Noel’s parents never knew of the disease, and like any parent getting the news that your child was born with a medical condition, it was a frightening moment.

Sadly, Noel was born with sickle cell disease – an inherited blood disorder that can cause stroke, pain, infections and other symptoms.

Red blood cells have the important job of delivering oxygen throughout the body.

When a person has sickle cell disease, their red blood cells are sickle shaped and don’t move through blood vessels as easily as normal red blood cells, which are rounder and more flexible.

Because of the severe problems it can cause, the life expectancy for people with sickle cell disease is 42-48 years of age.

“When the doctor gave me Noel’s diagnosis, outlined some of the lifelong symptoms that my child would have to go through, and worst, learning that we were both carriers of the sickle cell trait, which was the cause of the disease in our child, I think I cried for days.

I believe no parent wants to know that they have a child who has to face a life of pain.

Because children with sickle cell disease are susceptible to life-threatening infection, his parents had to constantly monitor Noel.

As Noel stated, “Living with sickle cell disease is not like other conditions that start later on in your life.

Names like ‘Half Dead’, ‘Sickle Cell Man’, ‘Mawga Man’ were but a few he had to endure.

The truth is, sickle cell crisis comes with excruciating pain.

“Depending on where the pain is and how bad the crisis is, there are a few things that help, like hot rags, getting hydrated, and sleep.

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