FAITH DYER has been given new hope.
In February last year, doctors discovered a tumour growing in Faith's brain.
The 15-year-old Form Two pupil of the Fyzabad Composite School, after turning to the Express with a plea for help in August last year, was flown to Miami and underwent 13 hours of surgery on November 16.
The operation was made possible as a result of a working collaboration between the Children's Life Fund and the Baptist Health International, Baptist Health, Miami, South Florida, United States.
Neurosurgeon Dr Vitaly Siomin told the Express that his team is satisfied with the surgery and Faith's recovery immediately after the procedure.
"We removed nearly 70 per cent of the tumour, including the most significant area that was compressing the brainstem," Siomin said.
"Faith can now walk without support and is able to eat and drink on her own. The remaining part of the tumour will be treated with highly focused radiation. We are quite optimistic about her recovery."
During her stay in Miami, the aspiring cricketer was treated by a team of nearly ten physicians plus a number of specialists.
Doctors said Faith began walking within two weeks of her surgery and she is now able to once again talk, eat, drink and breathe with no problems.
Faith completed her final radiation treatment and returned to Trinidad two weeks ago.
At their Rifle Range, Palo Seco, home last week, her mother Patricia Dyer told the Express that she is relieved her daughter has been given an opportunity to lead a normal life once again.
"They took really good care of her in Miami," Dyer said.
"I want to give thanks to the Government and all the people who helped us with donations. I also want to thank her schools, both primary and secondary for all they did for Faith during her illness. She is a very strong child."
Although Faith has shown remarkable progress, it may be a while yet before she is able to return to school. She is expected to return to Miami for a follow-up visit in May.
Faith's ambition is to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the national and international levels in cricket.
In 2010, while still a pupil at the Palo Seco Government Primary School, she was honoured by the principal, staff and community for her contribution to the school's success in the National Primary Schools Cricket Competition. The school remained unbeaten in the competition between 2008 and 2010.
That dream was threatened when, in February 2012, the tumour was discovered.
Dyer had told the Express in August last year that Faith started experiencing hearing problems in her right ear in October 2011.
"It started to become painful for her and I kept carrying her by the doctor," Dyer said.
"She was given medicine but nothing was working so she was sent to the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Clinic in San Fernando. The doctors there were saying it was a polyp (an abnormal growth of tissue projecting from a mucous membrane) in the ear. In February (2012) they did an operation and said they discovered a bigger problem. The next day they did an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan and told me they found a tumour."
Dyer said she was told by doctors at the San Fernando General Hospital that there was nothing that they could do for Faith at that institution and she was referred to the Port of Spain General Hospital.
Faith was eventually taken to the Community Hospital of Seventh Day Adventists in Cocorite before going to Florida.