I remember always calling round for Barbara-Ann to come out with us, only to see her lying on the sofa in darkness with a migraine. Spending most of her time in darkness complaining with headaches was normal for her. She could hardly ever enjoy coming out or hanging out with her mates like any normal 17 year old. This was going on for years and doctors answer was “they’re just migraines”. Then one night, Barbara-Ann took a turn for the worst and we had to call an ambulance. We got to the hospital where doctors thought she was on drugs and Barbara-Ann was sent home.
She spent weeks in and out of hospital until one day it was decided to keep her in. My mum got a phone call and all my aunties arrived to take Barbara-Ann to the hospital. I knew then it was serious. I got the bad news when I got to the hospital. We never spoke about the tumour she had us all laughing. The next day Barbara-Ann was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital. She was never unhappy and we had a blast, even though I was missing school to be with her in hospital! I had to be with her. I always thought this would be the last time I would see her but she fought on.
The day of the operation came and it was the hardest day of my life. I sat by the phone crying waiting for the call. I got it, and Barbara-Ann made it through. I cried with relief; I wasn’t going to lose my best friend and my cousin. Her surgeon Dr McAulry really did perform a miracle for her. Although she had a long journey of healing ahead she never let it get her down.
I’m so proud of you Barbara-Ann. It’s made us stronger, and I’ll be here with you until the very end. I love you so much and maybe people will realise after your story, there is hope out there somewhere.