Updated: Nov 13
Imagine having pain for the entire day. That’s the reality for 37-year-old Rommel Griffith and 38-year-old Rommel Griffith who have 30 days to raise funds for their necessary hip replacement surgery.
37-year-old Griffith who is a former student of St. James Secondary School now renamed Fedrick Smith Secondary School is a father of two and said that he has been on the waiting list to have his hip replaced for the past 15 years.
Over this time, his health has where he is dependent on his crutches just to be able to walk.
“Well, I was told that I was on a list waiting for the surgery. I have been using crutches to get around for the past six years. Before then I was still walking through the pain. At present, I cannot step up without the use of crutches. I was taking medication and having blood tests done every six months for the past fifteen-years,” he said.
The thirty-seven-year-old said the reason that he needed the hip replacement surgery was because of a condition he was born with called Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It is also referred to as degenerative joint disease or ‘wear and tear' arthritis. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips and knees. With this disease, the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the underlying bone begins to change. In Rommel’s case, it has led to his hip bone deteriorating to the point where he now is in desperate need of surgery to be able to walk again.
“The cartilage in between my hip bones deteriorated on its own. I am using medication to solve the pain; the pain never stopped it is constant pain. Taking this medication without the surgery has led to my body becoming immune. So, you constantly have to change the medication,” he said.
Further adding that he has been unable to work for the past six years due to the debilitating pain that he has been enduring.
“At the moment I cannot work, and I am struggling. To raise $80,000 without being able to work is mind-blowing. Even to sit and think of how I am going to raise that goal gives me nightmares that is the honest truth. Both of us need this surgery as it is painful every single day. Sometimes even asking for help is hard as you do not be a burden to persons, you want to be independent and be able to get back to some sort of normalcy. It is not impossible because once we have the surgery we can get back to our normal lives,” he said.
Whereas his namesake thirty-eight-year-old Rommel Griffith has been seeking to have his hip replacement surgery for the past three years. Griffith who is a former student of St. Leonard’s Boy’s School said many nights he cannot sleep due to the overwhelming pain he is in.
“The thing is a lot of people do not understand going through pain like this all the time you get depressed, and it plays on your mind. Sometimes, it puts you on the verge of a mental breakdown because you are dealing with pain and having to handle your personal life. For me, many nights I cannot sleep as the pain moves from my lower back all the way down to my feet. If I have a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, I am thankful because this pain wakes me up on a night. ” he said.
For thirty-seven-year-old Griffith, his surgery is desperately needed as he fears if he waits any longer that he will be unable to ever walk again.
“I have a teen son and a young daughter, and I want to be back on my feet for them and myself. Right now, I have issues with my neck and my lower back because of the long use of the crutches. It is not easy on my body because I am basically dragging my body. I am fearful that if I do not get this surgery, I would not be able to walk because I am losing the muscles in my feet. My feet have gotten small as I have been using the muscles in my feet for years and if it continues like this it would lead to me not being able to walk. I am tired of living like this every day. I never thought that I would be going through this right now,” he said.
To donate to Project Walk Again
Bank Name: Barbados Public Workers Co-Optima Credit Union Limited
Account Number: 0000160079
Names on Account: Rommel Griffith + Rommel Griffith (Write Right PR Services)