Man pleads for help to fight mystery swelling

For over a year now, a massive mysterious growth on the left side of Jermaine Barrett’s face has been a source of great physical and emotional pain for the 26-year-old, who hails from Montego Bay, St James.

“Sometimes I will go around kids and they run from me. My nieces and nephews don’t even recognise me, anymore. When they see me they run and cry, so it pains me heart,” Barrett told The STAR.

He said he has relocated from his mother’s house because the sight of his face sickens her.

“Her blood pressure raise every time she sees me, so I go live with my sister and cousin for my mother’s well being.”

Barrett’s only ease from the excruciating pain is continuous sleep.

So far, local doctors have been unable to agree on a diagnosis and treatment for the abnormal growth, so Barrett feels his only hope is to go overseas to seek medical attention.

“Doctors had me do full body scan, a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan, CT (Computerised Tomography) scan, all sort of tests. They started radiation, then I did chemotherapy, but that didn’t work. They tried everything to shrink it and it hasn’t worked. Some are saying it’s cancerous. Some are saying it’s just normal tumour,” Barrett explained.

Jermaine Barrett. Photo courtesy

Jermaine Barrett. Photo courtesy


He theorised that his affliction might have been triggered by some overseas dentists who had come on the island to offer free services in 2008.

“I took out a tooth and from that day I have a little swelling in the roof of my mouth. I took antibiotics and it [swelling] didn’t go down, so I thought probably it was supposed to be there so I just left it,” Barrett said.

He ignored the swelling until January last year, when he noticed another bulge just below his left eye. Barrett, who was employed as a chef, assumed the swelling was caused from his constant interaction with heat and cold.

“I went to the eye doctor and they gave me eye drops for it but it, didn’t get better. When the eye drops finish I went back to the doctor, they told me I have to do a CT scan because my eye look like it’s pushing forward,” Barrett said.

Since that time, Barrett has made countless visits to specialists in St James and Kingston but to no avail.

However, his pockets are not deep enough. He was the primary bread winner for his family, but his illness has prevented him from working.

“I would really appreciate some help because I’ve tried everything. Only thing I could do now is just pray and ask God to work some miracle because I don’t know where else to turn,” he said.

“I get so sick, sometimes I can’t really swallow because my throat is so swollen. I can’t breathe through my nose, I can’t smell anything, so I have to be breathing through my mouth. I have difficulty seeing sometimes in the sick eye. Sometimes a lot of water run from the other eye,” Barrett said.

Barrett is fearful that the abnormal growth will start affecting his brain if he does not receive immediate medical attention overseas and is hoping for assistance.