Two years ago Maria Romero fled Venezuela in search of a better life here in Trinidad and Tobago. She left her mother Dominga Pagola behind. One year later they were able to reunite.
“She coming here for the situation in Venezuela, for me and my brother(sic). She was okay, she no have sick,” Romero said.
But as they started to make up for the lost time, tragedy stuck and Dominga, 57, was diagnosed with stage three endometrial cancer in October 2020.
“She started to (get) pain in the belly (sic)…The medical told me she have cancer she have fibroid in the uterus, “she said.
Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus. It begins in the layer of cells that form the lining (endometrium) of the uterus.
In the last four months, the Venezuelan national’s condition has worsened. She is being treated at the Sangre Grande Hospital and needs blood donations, surgery and chemotherapy.
Procedures her family cannot afford.
“Yesterday she get one blood (sic) and today she open the eyes, for me it is hope,” Romero said.
Romero said she has visited both private and public hospitals for help and even reached out to NGO’s that help Venezuelan nationals but to no avail.
“I feel bad, I feel worried, I think I’m going to lose (sic) my mother,” she said.
She said her mother would need at least six chemotherapy sessions that cost approximately $25,000 TTD per session and she was told surgery would cost about $48,000 TTD.
At present, she spends her nights sleeping on the hospital bench because she cannot afford transportation from her house to the facility every day. Romero takes care of her mother while her father and brother work but because of the hours they seldom get to see Dominga.
“My mother the health is low (sic), the health of my mother is low, “she said.
Because she is a non-national she cannot access free cancer treatment in this country.
It’s a policy Romero respects and understands as she said the doctors at Sangre Grande Hospital have been very helpful.
“I understand the medicals in the country but we are human people, we are human people,” Romero expressed.
Dominga’s family has explored the option of sending the cancer patient back home to the country she once fled, so she can get urgent treatment.
“I telling the medicals please help she get blood so she can travel because if in Trinidad can’t get help, in Venezuela it’s possible. She feel worst every day,” Romero said.
They started a Go Fund Me account to help with expenses as Dominga needs medication and basic supplies.
Anyone wishing to assist Domingo Pagola can also contact 379-0520.