Cancer-fighter Triston Ramlochan, 14, dies

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

CANCER FIGHTER: Triston Ramlochan, 13, puts on a brave face at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex on Tuesday. Ramlochan was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2017. PHOTO COURTESY PARENTS –

Triston Ramlochan has died. The young cancer-fighter died on Thursday, his mother, Natalie Joseph told Newsday.

Ramlochan was battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and needed treatment abroad to survive. He also needed life-saving medications which were very costly. The family had also applied to the Children’s Life Fund.

Ramlochan’s father, Ramdeo told Newsday the family had heard from the Children’s Life Fund and was granted approval for his treatment abroad.

“He fell ill and returned to the hospital.

“We did plead with them. We had some savings of our own that we were willing to get Triston and his mom out of here because the Children’s Life Fund was only used after the treatment which would have been two months or a month-and-a-half after he was up there; the Children Life Fund would have been in use.”

Ramdeo said the family begged and pleaded to purchase the tickets on their own to get Ramlochan out of the country faster for the life-saving treatment.

He said he believed his son and his mother would have been out of TT already if the fund had given its approval for the tickets to be purchased. He said the hospital abroad was waiting to accept Triston.

Newsday highlighted Ramlochan’s story in January and his mother prayed for the gift of life for his 14th birthday.

In the January article, doctors at the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) said even after treatment that ended in 2020, Ramlochan’s leukaemia was still present and he needed immunotherapy followed by a stem-cell transplant or cellular therapy to survive. None of those are available in TT.

The public rallied to Ramlochan’s cause and through its help, the family was able to get some of the medication and tests he needed.

In March, a follow-up article was done and it said Ramlochan was then warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC).

In the March article, Joseph then said she had hoped she would have heard from the Children’s Life Fund earlier but, at that time, she had not and the public donations were used for a bone-marrow transplant test.

The test showed Ramdeo was a match and could be a bone-marrow donor.

Ramlochan was accepted by the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital on January 22 in New Delhi, India, one of India’s largest health-care chains.