Spinal cord disorder crippling young man’s dreams
O-Dean Thompson, 23, has been living with tethered spinal cord syndrome since he was a child. Tethered spinal cord syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by tissue attachments that limit the movement of the spinal cord within the spinal column. These attachments cause an abnormal stretching of the spinal cord.
"I can walk, but I am not 100 per cent ... because one foot is a little bit shorter than the other. I can't walk very far distances, and this has been the case from I know myself. I used to wear a brace but it mash up, and I can only wear it inside," Thompson told THE STAR.
The Brunswick, St Catherine resident says he had to endure a difficult childhood, and was unable to get proper schooling due to his ailment.
"I don't have any subjects, but I have a HEART/NSTA Trust certificate for customer service. I have been enrolling in a couple of programmes and not sitting down and idling," he said. "I am awaiting my results. I did one CXC subject. I did principles of business this year and it was my first time. I've never done it before. I am also planning to go back to HEART. I am also a slow learner. Because my spine is sick, it affects my brain. But I am determined."
Thompson admitted that he has "depression issues" stemming from his spinal problems.
"Being this way, I can't get anything to do. I feel like I am unemployed because of the disability. I am trying and I cannot get anything to do," he said.
Thompson is currently living with his parents, who are both over 60. He says he is struggling to make ends meet and provide for his parents.
"My mother and father are living in a rented apartment and it doesn't have a kitchen or bathroom adjoined to it. Them alone can't manage ... I have to be the person that helps, and I feel so bad not being able to help them. It is very stressing," he said. "It is really hard during this COVID time. With my disability, I have to be up and down trying to get a job."
If anyone can assist O-Dean Thompson, you can contact him at 876-433-6257.