A container with Shari’s gall stones.
Shari-Lyn Williams affectionately called Shari by her peers is a fourth-year student at the
Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville, Jamaica where she is pursuing a
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education.
Her intense gastrointestinal struggle started in March
2019, she vomited for an entire day and endured excruciating pain. She fled the university’s
campus and went home to visit the doctor; “they told me I had a bacteria and they gave me
antibiotics, after that I was back to my normal life eating foods I normally ate” said Shari.
Within five (5) months Shari’s vomiting started again.
On Monday, September 23 early thatmorning she vomited, and the pain was insufferable. “I called my parents and they came forme and took me to a hospital in Kingston”. After a blood test was conducted Shari was told that she had Hepatitis and was told further checks would have to be done to determine
whether its Hepatitis A and B. She was advised to stay away from spicy food which she said
contributes to her “flare ups”.
An ultrasound was done; however, Shari went to another Doctor to discuss the results. The
results showed that she had a “mild case of Hepatitis” however, the real problem was her Gall
Bladder which appeared swollen from the results. Shari was then diagnosed with
Cholelithiasis. According to Ali A. Siddiqui , MD, Thomas Jefferson University,
Cholelithiasis is “the presence of one or more calculi (gallstones) in the gallbladder.
In developed countries, about 10% of adults and 20% of people > 65 yr have gallstones”.
“ The stones were measured 0.2-0.4cm and the bile duct duct measured 0.2cm, we see that
there was no way most of the stones could pass through the duct and that contributed to the
pain, I was told I didn’t have a spicy problem, I have a greasy problem” said Shari.
Shari blamed her diet choices for the predicament she was in “all the cafeteria food, KFC
and Burger King mostly came back to haunt me”. Shari was referred to a Surgeon who
specializes in Gastrointestinal diseases; Dr P. Bhoorasing. Dr Bhoorasing made an agreement
with Shari that the next time she has a bad flare up she’ll undergo emergency surgery. “I’ve
had bad flare ups after the meeting” said Shari.
On October 30, 2019 which was Shari’s birthday she woke up with a mild stomachache, this
was also her first week of Practicum as a final year Education student. “Amidst my illness I
woke up to an email from my advisor, which I classify as my birthday present” Shari’s
advisor encouraged her to focus on her health and not worry about school nor practicum.
Shari did her surgery on November 3,2019. Her Gall Bladder was removed which she said
was the best option “I had been informed that I had to get a major cut because the gall stones
were too big to come through the vacuum that was inserted through small incisions” This
procedure Shari describes is known as Laparoscopic Surgery.
Shari’s operation was successful, her recovery is going well and she’s in a very good space
“I thank God that it wasn’t anything worse and that I can now eat in peace, of course I’m still
giving my body a break from greasy foods but I do deserve some ice cream and cake being
that I never had on my birthday”. At the end of it all Shari has her health and a few gall
stones as unique mementos.