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Jan 7, 2011

Young man from San Ignacio battles brain tumor

darnel bennett

As the economic pinch bears down, many are finding it impossible to meet the prohibitively expensive medical costs. Tonight we revisit the story of a young man from San Ignacio who had been battling with a brain tumor for some time. He has had surgery in the United States and is currently back home but his progress is guarded. There is very little that can be done medically for him, but the family is hopeful the home care will give him a fighting chance. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has his story.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Nineteen year old Darnel Bennett left Belize on September twenty-fourth with a large and aggressive tumor in his brain. His destination was the Kettering Medical Center in Ohio and he was accompanied by his mother, Miriam, who says that he had a fifty-fifty chance of survival when he went into surgery on October ninth.

Miriam Bennett, Mother of Darnel Bennett

miriam bennett

“When he came out from the surgery, he was responding, squeezing my hand and opened his eye. But the following, maybe three days after the doctor came and told me they didn’t take out all the tumor from his head so we have to go back for another surgery. We are not waiting for him to wake up enough, we have to go back in. So he went in on the twelfth of October again.”

But this time, Darnel was unconscious when he emerged from the operating theater and he didn’t wake up for weeks.

Miriam Bennett

“The day passed through and I don’t see him wake up. Every time the doctor come and said he had to do a CAT-scan to see what’s happening in his brain. The time was passing and passing and no reaction. Then it was like two months after, the doctor came and said Mrs. Bennett, we have done everything we could for your son. We have taken all of the tumor from his head but the brains are not functioning. His brain is not getting the same as it was before. Where the tumor was, it was very big and all of the space that the tumor had, the brain is not coming back and inside his brain is getting swollen, it’s not functioning.”

Miriam decided in late November to return home with her son still alive and her family has taken on the twenty-four hour a day job of caring for him.

Steve Bennett, Father of Darnel Bennett

Steve Bennett

“From the time when they bring him, he used to barely open his eyes so little and he had his head swollen. But I noticed that—because when he came he stayed in the hospital for a week at the Karl Heusner. But after that the doctors told us it is best to bring him home.”

Miriam Bennett

“Sometimes he has some pain and he had some seizures so when we see that we have to go and get the ambulance from the hospital and let them take him to the hospital and check him. We feed him through a tube in his stomach; we feed him every three hours and I do some exercise with him; some therapy, moving his hands and his feet and my husband built a chair for him so we take him from the bed to the chair. We put a hammock, we put him in the hammock.”

Being back at his home in San Ignacio has been good for Darnel and his condition is slowly improving.

Steve Bennett

“Now he is opening his eyes much bigger, I believe that he understands more because you talk to him—he can’t answer you but he reacts. We see he moves his feet and sometimes—two time I saw him haul his legs up like this and I think he’s doing much better now. He communicates with his feet because most of the time when he wants to come off the bed, we ask him and he moves his feet. We ask him you want to come off the bed? You want to go into the hammock? Then he just shakes his feet like this and we bring him to the hammock.”

But even as he gets better, his family’s struggle is not getting easier; especially when it comes to finances.

Steve Bennett

“I have to be home most of the time because I’m the only one in the home that can move him from the bed to the hammock or can carry him around. That’s why I believe that we have to stay how we are right now and then I just work round and round now because I can’t go far again to work. I have to sustain the home with everyday needs, water bills, I borrowed some money from Credit Union I have to find funds to pay that back and that’s why I find it real pressing because I have to be home with him.”

Darnel’s family is coping as best as they can and they are staying hopeful for a full recovery.

Miriam Bennett

“It is a really hard experience because my two older daughters, they were so close to him and seeing him in that situation, they go in his bed. One of them likes to sing and they sing for him and we are trying to cope with it and look at it as something that life is you know.”

Steve Bennett

“I can’t express how I could feel about but it’s really hurting. But as I talk to my wife and I told her, well it’s a situation where we have to help him. I believe that his whole brain is functioning because he can see, he can hear, he can understand and he moves both hands and both feet. So I believe that he will recover soon.”

Miriam Bennett

“I believe in God and I know God is great and before time he used to do miracles. I know that he will do a miracle. And the faith that Darnel had was so big that he told me that God had a plan for him.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The Bennett is grateful for the assistance from the church, hospital and San Ignacio residents.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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6 Responses for “Young man from San Ignacio battles brain tumor”

  1. Bulba Martinez says:

    I would like to help the family of Darnel Bennett. Can someone email the family address to: garbelzmagic@yahoo.com?. I have walked this very same road before and the Lord was very good to me. To Miriam and Steve, please keep the FAITH and your prayers will be answered. My family and I will be praying for you all. “God is the answer”, he will never leave us or forsake us and by his stripes we are healed. God LOVE”S you and so do we.

  2. Sasha says:

    Sorry for your and his suffering, hope other organizations help out financially and the biggest thing is prayers. God Bless all of you.

  3. Dhyllis Waight Gentle says:

    Miriam and Steve my prayers are with you. The rest of the family here in Miami, Florida U.S.A are praying a miracle as well. I will try and help in whatever way I can. Keep on being strong in faith and take care of him. We love you all.
    From your cousin
    Dhyllis Mae.

  4. Dhylles Waight says:

    My family here in nyc are keeping your family in prayer. we will see what can do to assist in your time of need.

    your cousin,

    Dhylles Victoria Waight

  5. robert waight says:

    Hi miriam.

    we all have daniel and the family in prayers.We know that you know God is real .and full of love .God will get you through this.I did went to visit him while i was there and indeed he is improving .what ever i can do to help. i will do.

    your cus bobby.

  6. Shannon says:

    I would love an update on how he is doing now

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