Sassy recovering at relatives’ home in Trinidad

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Calypsonian and former OBSERVER radio announcer, Ava Charles-McKenzie – known to most by her stage name “Sassy” – says she is no longer in hospital, but recovering for the time-being at a private residence in Trinidad.

Her voice was definitely not as strong and piercing to anyone familiar with her normal energetic self, but Sassy was audible, intelligible and clear.

She thanked OBSERVER for giving publicity to her cause, but as usual she was attentive to and particular about details which she wanted us to correct.

The first was that she was recovering, yes, but not in hospital. She was at the home of close relatives in Trinidad – the place from which both her parents hail.

She wanted it known that she was never at the St. Clair Medical Center – as her own son had mistakenly told us more than once – but at the Southern Medical Center; which she lauded for their all-round compassionate and considerate care for her, both in terms of the seriousness of her condition and the financial challenges she faced in accessing their services.

Sassy was airlifted to Trinidad several weeks ago after suffering multiple organ dysfunction and falling into a coma. She was later diagnosed with cancer affecting her liver and colon.

The severity of her condition has puzzled her, since she says up to the night she called the ambulance when something just didn’t feel right, she had not felt ill, was not in any pain or notable discomfort – except for some minor sensations that she thought signaled the onset of the flu.

Sassy said she had been her usual indefatigable self, working at three jobs, including hosting a radio show. The night she went home before regaining consciousness at hospital, she had just hosted a calypso tent.

Sassy wants her gratitude known to Health Minister Molwyn Joseph and the government of Antigua and Barbuda for footing US $50,000 of her US $108,000 bill – which, by the way, she also wants known is the final figure she has to settle, stressing that there’s no “and-counting” to that sum.

She also wants special mention made of one Ms. Morris at the Southern Medical Center in Trinidad, whose care and encouragement to her, she says, has been exceptional.

Ava Charles-McKenzie has so far had two major surgeries and one minor operation since being airlifted out of Antigua with her life reportedly hanging in the balance. She still has to check occasionally at the hospital in Trinidad so her condition and progress can be monitored.

But she counts the treatment obtained overseas as successful, and is confident of her chances for recovery.

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