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Hopes & prayers for a chess champ

“Della is still in the coma, she is home.

JELANI BECKLES

FORMER national chess champion Della-Marie Walcott is still in a coma, but her family continues to be positive with hope she will awake and resume her life as a normal teenager. He said the family has rallied around her parents to provide support for them in this difficult time.

Tragedy befell Walcott in 2015 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour which turned out to be not cancerous. She had surgery to remove it on December 22, 2015 but did not make a recovery. A follow-up procedure was required but she slipped into a coma in January 2016 and has been in that condition ever since.

Walcott, who will be 17 years old later this month, was a student at St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Amiel Mohammed, Walcott’s cousin, said he is optimistic she will improve.

“Della is still in the coma, she is home. Generally speaking, she is good, she is doing good,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed said nurses are by her side the majority of the time.

He added, “She does not have any responses. Her eyes are open and everything, her bodily functions work as normal but she is — for the lack of a better term — just asleep.”

Mohammed said Walcott has support and the family even adjusted their family Christmas plans so Walcott could spend more time with family. “Everybody still pops by and visits her from time to time, and because of how big our family is, we normally bounce around for Christmas Day lime, but we had the Christmas Day lime by them (Walcott’s family home) last year so everybody was there.”

Mohammed said Walcott is not on a machine currently, but she is being fed through a feeding tube and generally breathes on her own.

An account in the name of “Friends of Della Marie Walcott” is still open at Republic Bank Limited — account number 180801224831 — for anyone wishing to further assist with her ongoing medical expenses.

T-shirts in support of Walcott’s cause are also available and can be purchased by contacting Mohammed at 755-3734.

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