Granny’s little fighter

Ana Lewatu with her son Ilaisa Naroa at the WOWS Kids family fun day at the Lautoka Golf Club. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Analewatu Rokotakala is a humble and quiet natured woman – but within that peaceful demeanour lives a strong grandmother fighting for her 11-year-old grandson, Ilaisa Naro.

The Saweni, Lautoka, resident says she took on the role of parent when she took Ilaisa under her care at just three months old

. The hard truth about their story is that Ilaisa lives with a type of cancer that results in a low white blood cell count.

As a form of treatment, the 11-year-old receives white blood cell transfusions every now and again.

The Fiji Times caught up with the pair on September 24, during the Walk On Walk Strong Kids Family Fun Day in Lautoka. “He is my boy,” she said.

“If anything should happen to him, I want him in my arms.”

She said Ilaisa’s health issues first began when he was three years old.

“He had a fever and his body temperature was too high.

“He would complain that his skin was too hot, so we took him to the hospital.

“After tests, they found that his white blood cells were too low.

“So we had to be admitted for the first time when he was three.

“We spent two weeks in the hospital.”

She said the second health scare came two years later.

“He was five years old, and it was the same case. His temperature was too high but this time we spent one month in the hospital.

“It was during this time when we were told by the doctors that his white blood cells were too low.

“It was the lowest compared to others.”

She said since the diagnosis, life has been challenging, but she was grateful they identified Ilaisa’s condition early.

“I’m thankful to God that we were able to find out very early.

“He gets medication, transfusions, but no chemotherapy.

“I have to look after him very closely, but he’s just like any other boy at his age.”

She said despite his health issues, the 11-year-old enjoys his life.

“Even though he can’t keep up with other children, he still attempts to play outside.

“He knows when he needs his rest and he will take it, but aside from that, he keeps enjoying his life. He keeps fighting.”

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