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Aug 19, 1998

Child makes miraculous recovery after surgery

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Tonight’s news is not solely about turmoil, as this morning News Five’s Arreini Palacio met a mother who, having experienced the acute pain of caring for a sick child, has emerged with some new hope.

It took two major operations before four year old Jermail Elijio could walk as a normal child. According to his mother, Sherlette Richards, their nightmare started when he was born.

Sherlette Richards, Mother

“When he born, when time fu mek he come out the doctor check him, right. Well the doctor said that he needs to keep in because the doctor said that he had an infection. He keep ah in for two weeks.

When time fi he come out when he get one year, I probably notice that he mi di get sick, sick, sick. But then he never mi di creep and siddong and he mi di do everything slow. I never know that it was heart problems. I never know whe happen to ah. Like he neck mi limber, everything mi wrong with ah.”

Jermail’s mother finally decided to take her son to a hospital in New York when at the age of three Jermail could not even stand on his own.

Sherlette Richards

“Probably when he gone he could not walk, he mi weak, weak, weak. He never mi di walk nor nothing. So they ker ah ina di hospital and di doctor tek tests and what not, and the doctor said that he really stand bad. So they give him this surgery ina March fi circulate the blood because he could not walk when he gone. Then when he gone back in dey tell me he need open heart surgery. And they put in a valve from wha person whe pass away, because the doctor mi give ah ten percent ah chance fi live.”

Ten percent may not be good odds but thus far it’s proved lucky. With the success of both operations, Jermail has made a remarkable recovery, and his mother is thankful for every step he takes.

Sherlette Richards

“I never give up I just pray and ask God if he go from me well dat fi happen but if he fi stay well he wan stay.”

Q: “Do you consider him to be a miracle child?

Sherlette Richards


Arreini Palacio for News Five.

Jermail Elijio will make one more trip to the New York hospital in October of this year, where the doctors will give him one final check up. According to his mother, Jermail has improved so much since his first operation in February, that she expects him to start school next year.

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