Mission Accomplished: May!

For almost two years, Sharon Farrell searched for answers to explain a large lump on the back of her son Shaquan’s knee. Shaquan was diagnosed with Gorham’s Disease and while it was a relief to finally have answers, their worries were instantly elevated when they realized that the doctors in their country of Barbados, did not have the capability to treat Shaquan’s diagnosis.

Thanks to Richmond-based organization World Pediatric Project, Shaquan was given the opportunity to come to Richmond, Virginia to receive the medical care he needed. While in Richmond, their family would be able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House on Monument Avenue.

Two days into their stay, they received the devastating news that Shaquan’s leg would need to be amputated. “We had 24 hours to accept that news before the surgery. It was the hardest part of our trip, but we had to remember that there were no solutions in Barbados. Here, the doctors can create a plan for treatment. When we return home, Shaquan will be fitted for a prosthesis,” said Sharon.

For two months, Sharon and Shaquan were in and out of doctor’s visits to monitor Shaquan’s leg. But, during their down time, they formed friendships and a support system at the Ronald McDonald House. “They made us feel at home and like we were among family. Everyone was so friendly and nice along our journey. My favorite memory was spa night when all of the moms bonded. The bond helped make me feel less stressed and that I wasn’t alone. It really is a home away from home.”

Sharon and Shaquan arrived safely back home in Barbados but their time in Richmond made a great impact on them. Shaquan has hopes of attending VCU once he graduates high school so that he can study film and business. He hopes to become a film director.