Girl who may have gotten HIV from transfusion passes away
Had been leading ‘normal’ life until sudden decline
Stabroek News
August 16, 2003

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Jaisone Darrell, the five-year-old who was diagnosed with the HIV virus last year, died at the Georgetown Public Hospital on Thursday evening, hours after she was admitted to the Paediatric Ward.

Speaking with Stabroek News yesterday, Shondell Darrell, the child’s mother said Jaisone came down with a fever on Monday and started vomiting blood on Tuesday. According to her Jaisone’s condition worsened by Thursday and she was forced to rush her to Georgetown.

Darrell said Jaisone was plagued with constant fevers since she started receiving treatment for the disease over a year ago. She pointed out that the child responded well to the medication and her health had improved tremendously despite the fevers.

She related that Jaisone had gained weight and seemed happy during the early stages of treatment. Darrell recalled seeing her daughter playing with the neighbourhood children and vigorously going about her daily activities.

This, she said, gave her strength and renewed her hope that Jaisone was going to live for sometime. Darrell described Jaisone’s death as “sudden”. She said the signs were not there and her daughter was beginning to lead a normal life.

Darrell said she was grateful for the assistance provided by the Ministry of Health. According to her the Ministry assisted in the child’s diet and provided the medication. She said that she made the child’s condition public because Jaisone did not deserve to die young.

The child was diagnosed with the virus in May of 2002 when she was tested at the Georgetown Hospital for a mouth infection she had developed. According to her mother, Jaisone contracted the lethal disease after a blood transfusion at the Georgetown Hospital following her birth.

Darrell, a single parent said her daughter was born with jaundice and the blood transfusion was crucial for her survival. After the transfusion, the child then became sickly, forcing Darrell to stay and at home and provide readily care.

The Health Ministry later said that while the donor of the blood died at a young age, the cause of death was not determined and as a result it could not be concluded that the child contracted the virus from the blood transfusion. Jaisone’s father died in a vehicular accident.

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