a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

HCC - Christine Bocus youth advocate living with an NCD

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Christine Bocus at ALAPE

Christine Bocus, a youth advocate living with an NCD, recently presented at the Latin American Congress of Pediatrics in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, these are her remarks.

My name is Christine Bocus, 23 years of age. From birth I was brought up in Christianity through the Nistar Presbyterian Church. As I grew older, I began my academic journey starting at the age of 5.

As I proceeded further into secondary school, at form 3, age 14, to be precise, I was diagnosed with a 3rd degree heart block, as described by the doctors who attended to me. This was followed by a multitude of tests that were performed in attempts to discover the reason for this condition, unfortunately, this was not found. As time went by, my condition began to deteriorate such that I was removed from school until further notice. Even though the roots of the problem were not discovered, the doctors came to a decision of implanting a dual pacemaker. With all the necessary arrangements for this implantation, on February 1st 2006, at age 14, I received my first pacemaker.

Despite living with a NCD I did not defer from my initial goals and continued to strive for excellence in my education. As such, I was indeed satisfied after receiving 8 subjects at cxc level and 5 subjects at Cape /A Levels examination. For as long I can remember I have always aimed at becoming a teacher and due to my love of Business Studies becoming a Principles of Accounts teacher was my main priority.

I distinctively recall, at one point in time, in fact it was twice, Mr Farouk (Coordinator of heartbeat) requested my assistance in motivating two individuals you undergo the implantation. Here I was thinking how it is possible to give someone comfort, inspire them to live with device called a pacemaker? There was nothing I could say to convince these individuals, however I did my best. These Individuals were scared about the afterlife. Basically, I told them that this device does not affect my everyday living, I live as though I never had anything implanted, no diets, no medicine what so ever. A few days later, Mr Farouk return my call thanking me for being a motivation to those individuals, implantation was successful.

Living with the NCD, I did not allow it to affect my studies nor my lifestyle. With the time period of three (3) years, I completed my BSc degree in Accounting with Honors. Presently, I am station at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago as an accountant assistant.