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Mar 30, 2012

Girl with tumor flown out of country for lifesaving surgery

Catarina Ishim, the young girl from San Pablo, Toledo is on her way to Tennessee tonight. She arrives there shortly after ten o’clock on a journey that will hopefully change her life. Catarina is diagnosed with Leimyosarcoma, which is a rare and malignant type of tumor that develops from smooth muscle tissue. She has been fighting that condition for almost two years but after two rounds of surgeries, the tumor keeps recurring.   On March fifth, News Five’s Andrea Polanco traveled to the remote community to tell Catarina’s struggle. Since we first aired her story, the support has been overwhelming and Andrea has been instrumental in getting her to Tennessee. Andrea saw her off at the PGIA this morning and files this report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Catarina Ishim

Today twelve year old Catarina waves good-bye to her family, friends and the country, as she embarks on a journey to recovery from this four pound, life-threatening tumor; diagnosed as one of the form of a very rare and aggressive cancer called sarcoma; treatment must be sought abroad. When we met this little girl on March fifth, she was fighting for her life, and all she wanted was a chance to live, that back then seemed like a distant reality; but today little Catarina Ishim is on her way to East Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee to get the chance at a normal life that she deserves. Her grandfather, Juan Ishim is elated:

 

Juan Ishim, Grandfather

“Well, at this moment I am very, very happy because my granddaughter is going aboard to get medical attention. Right now I am very proudly, happy to board the plane.”

 

Juan Ishim

After getting word from Heart of Christ Mission and School Bells Inc., they won’t have to endure that challenge any longer. Catarina will get her much needed surgery and follow up procedures and that news was well received by this brave little girl:

 

Juan Ishim

“Last night she was okay, she was having a light fever last night but up to this morning the fever gone down and I know that God is great,; God is so merciful and so I know that she is okay.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“I know that you always speak to her in Kekchi, what did she say to you when you told her that she is going for the surgery abroad?”

 

Juan Ishim

“This morning when I explained to her that she is going abroad for medical attention, she smiled, she is comfortable, and she is going to be okay. She said to me that the tumor is getting heavier and heavier and that’s why she says she can’t take it no more.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So she is very happy at this time?”

 

Juan Ishim

“She is very happy at this time.”

 

And that happiness was long awaited, after all Catarina was hospitalized for three weeks and as Juan Ishim tells us, those weeks were a test of strength:

 

Juan Ishim

“Inside the hospital, last week it was very difficult because last week she was having a difficult breathing, and she was having pain with the eye and fever every often and it was difficult what I faced at the hospital.”

 

When she arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport she is prepared for her flight. The exposed tumor was covered in gauze and a special hat was used to shroud her face. Outside the departure lounge, she is made comfortable in a wheelchair where she sits as a small group of family and well-wishers say a prayer before they enter embark on their trip. The Ishims, not knowing when they’ll be back, are embraced and sent on their way with hugs:

 

Juan Ishim

“Well at this point of moment, I cannot say how long we will stay due to the size of the tumor, that I think it will take a long time and after they remove the tumor I think it will leave a big hole and they have to fill it and when everything is okay, then we will be back.”

 

And when they get back Juan Ishim says they have a long list of thank-yous, because since airing their story, the support has been overwhelming:

 

Juan Ishim

“At this time I want to give a special thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital, Heart of Christ Children Ministry, School Bells Inc, Ms. Yvonne Bridges and all who contributed in any way. I give special thanks, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Also Mr. Elroy Foreman, Ms. Sharlene, and Ms. Polanco and the crew at Channel Five.”

 

And so they made their way inside, and shortly before eleven-thirty this morning, the trio; Catarina, Juan, and local Heart of Christ Mission Representative, Alicia Williams, are the first to make their way into the aircraft. And shortly before twelve, Catarina takes off to another country for specialized medical attention that simply isn’t available in Belize:

 

Juan Ishim

“I kindly ask to please keep us in prayer. This is not the end; this is just the beginning.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

In the days ahead, we will have period reports on the progress of Catarina’s surgery. 

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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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15 Responses for “Girl with tumor flown out of country for lifesaving surgery”

  1. Storm says:

    God bless the East Children’s Hospital in Tennessee, and all of the other charitable people who reached all the way down to this little village in our little country to help one little girl. Amazing to find people with such big hearts!

    And my prayers to Catarina and her family.

    I hope we can see a follow-up story in a year or so.

  2. TM says:

    My prayers are with you, my dear. I do pray that you have a speedy and full recovery.

  3. Joe says:

    May God please help this child!!!

  4. naughtbbgrl@yahoo.com says:

    God bless will keep u in prayer

  5. KING'S KID says:

    Boy, this story brings tears to my eyes—tears of joy.

    Thank You Dear Father, for Your faithfulness in fulfilling the needs of this family and child. I ask that You continue to reward their faith and faithfulness in and toward you, and that You place a hedge of protection around the entire family. Give the doctors, nurses and all who attend in the surgery and recovery, wisdom to perform the necessary steps they must take. I thank You in Jesus’ name, for all that You have done and will continue to do in this situation.

    Amen!!!

  6. Eder says:

    Amen……

    God is good! Good Luck Catarina!!!

  7. belizecity-resident says:

    Praise God! Hope n pray it all goes well.

  8. lazurc says:

    may the great lord, hear us all.. we pray to ask good health and to see this child beautiful face ,,,.
    peace and love little child

  9. MACAL RIVERA says:

    I CRIED TEARS OF GRATITUDE WHEN I SAW HER LEAVING FOR TREATMENT, GOD IS GOD AND MERCIFUL, YES INDEED I AM GRATEFUL TO THE PEOPLE THAT HELP HER TO GO FOR TREATMENT, EVERY BIG AND SMALL CONTRIBUTION MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN THIS CHILD LIFE.
    I PRAY THE SURGERY BE SUCCESFUL AND SHE CAN RETURN AND LIVE A NORMAL LIFE.

  10. belizeanpride says:

    with the moral support this family is getting shows that we Belizeans are united in cases that touches our hearts. it’s like it’s me today and can be someone else tomorrow, so lets keep the good faith that the Lord almighty will finish healing the medical progress of this child and that she can be a normal kid in school when she returns, it’s touching story and we can’t deny a prayer, lets pray for her and her lovely family.

  11. OriginalWoman says:

    Wonderful story of people reaching out and being humane and kind. My prayers are with Catrina and her family and for all of you who reached out to her…..GOD IS GREAT AND SO IS HIS GREATNESS IN OTHERS!!!!

  12. CEO says:

    A tear jerker indeed! I think of my own children and put myself in her parents place! God’s belssings and mercy on this innocent child!

  13. JESSEJAMES says:

    THIS IS FOR MY GOOD FRIEND ANDREA POLANCO……YOU DID A GREAT JOB IN THIS STORY….GOD BLESS YOU MY FRIEND.

  14. Fidel says:

    God is so good. Just believe in God. He has answered our prayers.

  15. Teresa says:

    May God put his healing hands on this young girl. Although we are not a family of this young girl, we feel the pain that they are going through, I know that God will work something out. God can do miracles and i know that he can do the same for this beautiful young girl. Hope Caterina gets well soon and return safely back to the country of Belize. God be with you always.

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