The Alleyne siblings of Rosedale have had to struggle with tremendous personal and medical problems over the years, but recently they had a change in their luck.
After years of suffering from a kidney disease that led to one of her organs completely failing in 2008, Siddiqua Alleyne, 22, was saved by her brother Marc, who donated his kidney March 1.
Speaking at a news conference last Thursday at North Shore University Hospital with his sister and some of his other siblings, Marc Alleyne, 24, said he and his family did not hesitate before offering to give up their kidneys to Siddiqua because their mother had died from a similar condition after her symptoms were ignored.
“I saw her wasting away and it brought back memories of our mother,” said Marc Alleyne, who is the second-youngest of the five siblings.
Fortunately, Siddiqua, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice English major, has been recovering successfully, according to her older brother Stephan, 27. The young woman just spent last weekend with friends in Atlantic City and has been very vibrant, her brother said.
“The kidney started functioning immediately even before they closed her up,” Stephan said.
Siddiqua’s recovery has boosted the family’s spirits, especially after years of neglect. The Alleynes immigrated to Queens from Trinidad in 1992, but their patriarch, Michael Alleyne, was strict and treated the family badly, according to Stephan Alleyne.
Their mother, Annette Alleyne, was suffering from cancer, but Michael Alleyne did not take her to a doctor or give her medication.
Stephen said his father used to be institutionalized in a mental hospital and thought he could help the family on his own.
“I think it was a personal thing that he tried to pass off as a religious [thing] for years,” he said.
Eventually, Annette Alleyne was so ill her children disregarded their father’s wishes and took her to a hospital last year, but by that point it was too late. Their mother died two weeks later and their father abandoned his children.
After their mother’s death, Stephan Alleyne and his sister and brothers, Elisa, 26, Marc and Scott, 23, knew they had to do something for Siddiqua. The youngest member of the clan was diagnosed with kidney problems at 16, and like her mother received no treatment for it.
All four siblings underwent testing as potential kidney donors for a kidney transplant for Siddiqua and Stephan and Marc were the best matches.
Marc became the donor because Stephan Alleyne had a spinal condition. With his sister back to having a normal life, Stephan said he was grateful to the North Shore doctors for their dedication and hard work.
“They were very professional, very caring. I have nothing but good things to say about them,” he said.
Despite Siddiqua’s successful transplant, she and her siblings said they are continuing to suffer because of their father’s poor decisions. When he left the family after Annette Alleyne died, there was still a mortgage on their Rosedale home.
Stephan, who is studying mechanical engineering at City College, said he is not sure if their irresponsible parent was paying off the mortgage wherever he is, but the siblings are working hard to move out of the house.
“We are afraid of that, but right now we are concentrating on being independent,” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2010 Community News Group
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