Posted: Tuesday 15th April 2014 at 11:36 am

Sleepless, hopeless, voiceless; an 18-year old’s goitre-like ordeal


Living a normal life is a reality Grace Panyin cannot really relate to.

She has been struggling since she turned five years old because of a strange goitre-like disease threatening to keep her life hopeless, her plight voiceless, and her nights sleepless.

Grace Panyin lives in Mumford in the Gomoa West district of the Central region. Assembly man for Penkye electoral area,  Samuel Koomson visited Grace’s family and describes her plight:

“Flesh began to grow along her gums inside her mouth, and has grown further down her throat, enlargening her throat and pushing its way through the sides of her neck.”

Smelly blood often ooze out of the mouth as and when the area enlarges.

Her fishmonger mother and fisherman father have sent her to hospitals in the Central Region with doctors unable to help her. They have referred her to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, a place where poverty prohibits them from going.

For the many times she has been to the hospital, Grace has fallen in love with the green and white uniforms of the nurses and aspires to be one too.

Easier said than done. But for Grace, it cannot be even easily said, let alone getting it done.

The painful growth, wrecking its havoc over a 13-year period, means the young girl has had to drop out of school since Class Five – saving herself from ridicule from her mates.

You cannot look at Grace without making a grimace.

She barely speaks, capable of whispers only her family and close relatives understand. She moves around the house doing normal chores in silence for greater parts of the day.

You wouldn’t know if she is smiling or if she is happy – the strange disease is ensuring that the 18-year old girl can hardly communicate the state of her soul to anybody.

Except by looking into her eyes – and if you look long enough you could see the imprisoned anguish groaning for help.

Grace means unmerited favour; but surely this is one favour – help – Grace really merits after a 13-year suffering with no sign of ending.

Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]

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