Trinidad: Woman with 200-pound tumour faces eviction


(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Glo­ria Nicome, who is liv­ing with an en­larged tu­mour grow­ing on her back, but­tocks, hips and legs that weighs al­most 200 pounds, has been giv­en no­tice by her land­lord to va­cate her Mal­abar apart­ment.

While thou­sands of cit­i­zens were busy prepar­ing sump­tu­ous meals and putting the fi­nal touch­es to their homes yes­ter­day to cel­e­brate Christ­mas to­day, Nicome, 52, was in tears as she made a des­per­ate plea to the Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (HDC) to make an ex­cep­tion and pro­vide her with a roof over her head.

“I don’t have nowhere to go and no one to turn to… is I and I alone. I am in no con­di­tion to find an apart­ment be­cause of this over­grown tu­mour. I could bare­ly move around far less go hunt­ing for an apart­ment. Please! HDC, help me!… I need a home if not for Christ­mas at least the New Year. This is the worst Christ­mas I ever ex­pe­ri­enced,” Nicome said, burst­ing in­to tears.

Glo­ria Nicome

In 2008, Nicome, a moth­er of one, ap­plied to the HDC for a home but was un­suc­cess­ful.

Weigh­ing a mere 110 pounds back then, Nicome re­called be­ing a free-spir­it­ed and in­de­pen­dent per­son earn­ing her own mon­ey as a pro­duc­tion su­per­vi­sor at a meat shop. But all that changed in 2010 when she took a nasty tum­ble and land­ed on her but­tocks.

With­in weeks of the fall, Nicome no­ticed a lump grow­ing at a fast pace on her rear. She was lat­er di­ag­nosed with plex­i­form neu­rofi­bro­ma, which doc­tors at the Port-of-Spain Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal tried to re­move.

“Dur­ing the surgery, I start­ed to bleed pro­fuse­ly and the op­er­a­tion had to be called off,” she re­called.

Sev­en years lat­er, Nicome, who tips the scale at 310 pounds, has be­come a pris­on­er in­side her home, as the tu­mour has been grow­ing by leaps and bounds.

While she ad­mit­ted she has been mak­ing progress at the San Fer­nan­do Hos­pi­tal to have the tu­mour re­moved, she is now faced with a big­ger ob­sta­cle, find­ing a place to live.

Last Fri­day, Nicome’s land­la­dy, who lives in the Unit­ed States, in­formed her that she need­ed her apart­ment.

The land­lord is ex­pect­ed to come to Trinidad in ear­ly Jan­u­ary.

“The land­la­dy did not give me a date to move but she said she wants the apart­ment at the soon­est. This news have me in a re­al mess for Christ­mas. I am so stressed out. I can’t sleep or eat. I am feel­ing hope­less and help­less,” Nicome said.

Fresh tears rolled down Nicome’s cheeks when she ad­mit­ted to ask­ing God to end her life and suf­fer­ing.

“I just can’t take the stress no more… it is too much. Is bet­ter God put an end to my suf­fer­ing and take me. I feel that would be bet­ter. But peo­ple does say don’t give up, God just test­ing my faith. But how much one per­son could en­dure?”

Nicome said her son is al­so un­able to ac­com­mo­date her at his apart­ment.

Of the $1,150 month­ly pub­lic as­sis­tance she col­lects from the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment and Fam­i­ly Ser­vices, Nicome paid $1,000 in rent.

She sur­vives most­ly on the gen­eros­i­ty of the pub­lic.

“Even though I am liv­ing on hand­outs I am will­ing to pay HDC $1,000 in rent every month. I just want a place to live. I don’t want to end up on the streets and I feel that is where I would be go­ing pret­ty soon be­cause my back is against the wall,” Nicome said.

HDC com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ag­er Dike Noel yes­ter­day promised to look in­to Nicome’s mat­ter, say­ing emer­gency hous­ing “is not au­to­mat­ic. It is nor­mal­ly con­sid­ered on a case by case ba­sis.”

How­ev­er, Noel said if Nicome is ap­proved for emer­gency hous­ing, the HDC will have to pro­vide her with a ground floor unit which will have to be retro­fit­ted to suit her dai­ly needs giv­en her health con­di­tion.

“See­ing that Ms Nicome can­not come to the HDC, we would have to vis­it her and make an as­sess­ment. You have to re­mem­ber when she ap­plied to us she did not have this health prob­lem, which would now have to be doc­u­ment­ed by us. All those things would have to be con­sid­ered when HDC’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Brent Lyons is briefed on her case,” Noel said.