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Fuad looks into Persad’s case

Tuesday, January 7 2014

The case of Bhagwandial “Bobby” Persad, whose face has been disfigured by tumours, has been sent to Chief Medical Officer Dr Colin Furlonge for an assessment, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan disclosed yesterday.

Khan said he should get further details today.

The Health Minister called Newsday’s South offices last evening after he was contacted by the newspaper earlier in the day to say that “as soon as he became aware of the case”, he sent a note to his secretary, to his personal assistant and to the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Persad, 41, yesterday said he was grateful for any help. His story was highlighted for the second by Newsday yesterday.

Persad, who has had 22 surgeries, believed his only chance of curing the facial skin disease was to seek medical treatment abroad. Large tumours which have disfigured Persad’s face have been diagnosed as an ailment known as Plexifrom Neurofibromatosis. It is an irregular benign tumour of the peripheral nerve sheath that spreads under the skin.

Persad, who lives at Felicity, Chaguanas, was saddened that there might be no cure for his illness. Speaking to Newsday, he said, “Surgery after surgery I have done and when I think I am going to be a normal person, the growths keep coming back. I really don’t think there is any hope left for me in Trinidad.”

Doctors operated on Persad a year ago to remove a large tumour which almost covered his left eye, nose and mouth. But, Persad said, it began to grow again and his face is almost covered by a bulging ball of distorted flesh. Persad does odd jobs to make a living and lives with his mother, Samda Persad, and other siblings.

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