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Aug 28, 2012

Cancer victim returned home for birthday and last goodbye

Shayna Lightfoot

While the previous stories were about welcoming newborns into the world, the following item is about the untimely passing of a teen. Just two weeks ago, Era Lightfoot came to our studios to plead for financial assistance because her nineteen year old daughter, Shayna, who was being kept at a Merida Hospital until they could pay the mounting bills for cancer treatment. Since then, Era managed to scrape up a little over eight thousand dollars through fundraisers and headed back to Merida on August eleventh to pay it towards her bill. On that trip, she signed a payment agreement and she was allowed to bring Shayna home on the thirteenth. But last Friday night, Shayna passed away at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital; ending a four month battle with cancer. But Era says Shayna’s wish was celebrating her twentieth birthday with her family in Belize and while she was at the K.H.M.H., that wish was granted last Monday.


Era Lightfoot, Mother of Cancer Victim

Era Lightfoot

“We get wah ambulance from Merida to Chetumal den we get Bert from Chetumal to Belize and we bring ah straight dah Karl Heusner and from den ih deh een deh. Ih mi happy because ih si everybody. Ih mi deh eena lot ah pain but ih si everybody and ih seh mommy, I’m happy. Ih seh despite everything I’m happy because all she wanted was to come home. We neva know ih mi wah dead right afta ih birthday, I mean four days afta ih birthday. I mean if you mi si ah Thursday, the twenty-third you would ah mi neva think she mi gwein and weh mek me at ease dah because she get fi know Jesus Christ. Dis right yah so dah sister Clarita from Pallotti mi come pray for ah. She pray for ah and give ah dis rose and everything and ih mi so sweet of her. Only reason why I have it on dah because when dehn mi di do ih x-rays and thing dehn had to tek it off so ih wah put it on back tomorrow morning, ih have to put it on cause we di bury ah tomorrow. But she was happy.”


Delahnie Bain

“So what ended up happening at the end? There were complications?”


Era Lightfoot

“Weh happen, as I tell you we do some ultrasound, we do wah CT scan di same day as ih birthday and ih brain mi good because dat dah weh dehn mi di worry bout if ih reach dah ih brain, ih kidney, ih liver; everything mi good. But something—part ah it dah eena ih womb and something weh di catscan showed. Ih mi done di start back wid di coughing and dat dah weh di doctor dah Merida mi di worry dat dehn neva want di coughing come back because once di coughing come dah sake ah ih lungs, you know ih mi short ah breath. Ih mi really mi di have problem and dehn always had to have on di oxygen pan ah and everything ih eat, ih bring up. So when ih bring it up ih mi have to fight fi ih breath and dehn had to have pan di—ih really tek wah toll pan ah, ih heart mi di pepper ah, ih heart mi stay di race. And even like I tell di nurse she mi fine Thursday night. di nurse seh no, you si dis red cart yah, dehn call dat wah crash cart, ih neva fine ih only mi di be strong fi we. Nine o’clock di Friday night, ih gone—I gone een deh with ah, my brother-in-law mi deh een deh and my husband mi deh een deh wid ah long, long, long, long and afta dehn come out I gone een and I talk to ah, I touch ah, touch ih face and I feel everywhere fi ah and I feel ih hand and ih hand mi so, so, so cold. I tell my husband I seh you touch ih hand. Ih seh no, I seh Shayna hand noh feel right. Ih seh how you mean, I seh Shayna hand cold, cold, cold and blue like dead person hand. I seh Shayna hand noh feel right. He seh no man and like ten minutes after Doctor Arriaga come and seh I’m sorry, she’s gone. Dat mi so, so hard. Ih hard but eena wah sense like ih mi di punish, ih mi di punish, ih mi di punish.”


Era still has bills close to one hundred thousand dollars at the Merida hospital. She says she will continue to fundraise to pay the debt and she expresses gratitude to her co-workers and even customers at Mirab for their support.  Era is especially thankful for her employers, who have donated toward the medical expenses and have continued paying her full salary even though she has not been working since June. If you would like to assist the Lightfoot family, you can contact Era at 636-1636 or make a deposit at Atlantic Bank account 211254284.

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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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11 Responses for “Cancer victim returned home for birthday and last goodbye”

  1. rose says:

    Really sad!

  2. justice. says:

    what is happening in belize,ms kim barrow just raised a million for cancer and people is partly hold hostage to come home because of cancer bills cannot get major help,stress is a serial killer and with cancer its over,that young lady went into deep stress because of that situation and just finally break away from this life.its not easy to be in a foreign country and to find u cant make it home because of a bill u cannot pay and help is not coming forth. that is is quite young beautiful life went too early, that would have never happen if they would have whisk her out to the united states, or mantain to help her in mexico, to go home to belize was a death sentence…………..

  3. belizean says:

    May this young and beautiful lady rest in peace

  4. Young Gial says:

    God belss this family and may they find consolation in the words of our Father, Jesus Christ.

  5. soulsista says:

    @justice I very much agree with you what happen to all the money they raise for cancer center and imagine some of it came from btl too this girl bill was a pittance for them to pay off compared to the millions they got sad may she rise in glory

  6. Peace says:

    @Justice I agree with YOU. Ms Barrow could have taken the money out of the fundraising, nobody would have been upset with her… Makes me think the fundraiser was just for “show”… Come on the poor people needs help and we all know that a stressed cancer patient have it so much harder. Ms. Barrow it a pity you didn’t step in…Not blaming you for the death, but you could have made the passing easier. Its called Palliative Care…

  7. Monica says:

    Have the Min of Health work some majic in Merida & have them cancel atleast 1/2 her debt. This is why you voted for these people, when you have a problem you go to them and seek relief.

  8. OriginalWoman says:

    @Justice, that is also happening in the US. I have a relative with cervical cancer. She was hospitalized several times. One hospital would not even treat her because she had no health coverage. The second kept her but did not treat her, until the health care plan kicked in. Yes, in the bis USA, this is happening. The cancer centers that the family have contacted told us we need at least $100,000.00 for her care in their hospital because they are private. The public hospitals have limited treatment. Basically, all this means that you have to have the right amount of $$$$ to get the best care in cancer treatment, right here in the US!!!! Mrs. Barrow will be fine, her husband has the money for the best possible care. It is the same ole’ story about the haves and the haves not!!!!!

  9. Mel says:

    My condolences to the family. Again Ms Barrow can afford to go to the US and get treated. But the poor and ordinary normal Belizeans like this young lady cannot afford to get proper treatment. A proper center is in dire need in Belize that all Belizeans throughout the country can access without having to worry. C-A-N-C-E-R diagnosis is the most devastating news you can get at any age.
    Knowing it is a difficult ordeal and you may or may not come out of it.
    My condolences to the family.

  10. rene says:

    God bless the family and have merida have pity and forgive a portion of the bill.

  11. cassie says:

    People of belize should demand that the bill be taken care of from money raised for cancer

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