A happy spirit trapped in unhappy body: a story about Jemima’s spine

Too much innocence on her face – too much. Too much spine out of the right place – too much.

A cruel anatomical dispute between the body and the spine now means that while Jemima’s spine keeps shifting to the left, her body shifts to the right. Doctors call it Juvenile Scoliosis.

Jemima Quartey can feel the pain, feel the discomfort, feel her odd, queer and weird body which is very different from her classmates. But she can’t talk about it.

She cannot tell anybody that she has Juvenile Scoliosis – because it has wrecked damage to her speech too. Trapping her happy spirit in an unhappy body.

When Joy News’ Emefa Atiamoah-Eli entered Jemima’s class as the camera rolled, the children were made to recite the ryhme;

“A lion, a lion, a lion has a tail. It has a big head and a very small waist and a very small waist.”

Jemima didn’t join in the rhyme – her speech difficulty worsened by the sudden attention of Joy News cameras.

But when the rhyme got to ‘and a very small waist’ she wriggled her badly damaged one which she has been saddled with since she was one-year old.

Her action was a powerful expression of her determination to work with what life has given her even if nobody is ready to help her. She wriggled her waist with a sense of resignation – a sense of loving what she can’t change – or can she?

Jemima never complains or questions her condition. Perhaps too innocent in life to feel entitled to a perfect body or entitled to happiness.

Her teachers pick out her sad mood when she refrains from joining the other kids to play or get dirty. One teacher told Emefa, you would find her in her seat lending glances at the other playful kids as she communicates her pain in stony silence.

Her father who is a teacher has had cause to weep just watching her daughter’s condition.

“When I look at her, I feel down…I cry, I cry, I really cry…..they say a man does not cry, but I really shed tears..this is my first child”,

Her daughter’s body looks as bad as the required financial position to afford surgery. And time is not on the side of the girl all the teachers describe as intelligent.

Money and mangled spine has conspired to draw many tears from Jemima’s family. And why not? It will cost ₵94,000 to correct her condition, doctors say.

Who has that kind of money for one single daughter?

Watch video.It starts at 11:54 minutes
Donations for corrective surgery for Jemima Quartey can be made through:

A/C Name: Multimedia Group Limited
Barclays Bank Limited
A/C N0: 041 201 80 95
Circle Branch
Or contact Emefa Atiamoah-Eli
Joy News, Multi TV
0242161570
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]


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