Brilliant Kris-Ann battles through sickle cell pain - Student excited after top PEP placement
Twelve-year-old Kris-Ann Martin suffers from sickle cell disease, which causes her to be absent from school very often. She sometimes spends weeks in hospital, getting treatment for the debilitating illness.
Martin, however, has managed to defy the odds, and was successfully placed at Wolmer's Girls' School, following strong performances in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) exams.
With no final exams for PEP this year, due to the coronavirus, sixth-graders were assessed using the Grade Four Numeracy and Literacy exams sat in 2018, the Grade Five Performance Task exams of 2019, as well as the ability test done in February this year. Kris-Ann, who lives with her mother and her four older siblings in Kitson Town, St Catherine, did very well in components in which she was tested, and was placed at her school of first choice.
"I feel so good, it's just so exciting. Thanks be to God," said Martin, who attended the Angels Primary School. Before this excitement, Kris-Ann was admitted to the hospital in January, just a month before sitting the ability test.
She also sat her Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy exams one day after leaving hospital, where she was admitted for a month. Despite the adversities, Tamika Wilson, Kris-Ann 's mother, has always believed in her daughter's ability to do well.
"When I got the results, I was not surprised because I know Kris-Ann can do her work," Wilson said.
Sickle-cell disease is a hereditary blood disorder caused by an abnormality which affects red blood cells. Both of Kris-Ann's parents have the sickle-cell trait.
Because of the pain associated with the disease, sickle-cell patients like Kris-Ann are often unable to be as involved in physical activities such as sports.
"Sometimes I can't walk, I feel pain in my knee and in my chest. I feel left out sometimes because I can't do any type of sports, and I love track and field. I can't run because I'll get short of breath," explained Kris-Ann.
But, she is still able to maintain good grades at school as her teachers and family members often lend support. Her mother ensures that her pain medication, Cataflam, and antibiotics are always stocked in the house.
Her siblings would visit her while she is in the hospital and her teachers ensured she receives notes and assignments while she was out of school.
Her mother ensures that she is always taken to her three-month check-up at the Sickle Cell Unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
Kris-Ann is eager to begin her new chapter at Wolmer's, and hopes she will be able to play volleyball and do swimming. She aspires to become a pathologist or pharmacologist.