Herald file photo
Jalisa barnes was a star volleyball player, high honor roll student and clarinet player at ERHS.
Twenty-one year old Jalisa Barnes, a 2010 East Rockaway High School graduate, is going through what no young, beautiful, intelligent and athletic girl should be going through in the prime of her life: a life-threatening infection that has forced doctors to amputate her legs and her right thumb — with other life-saving surgeries looming.
“Jalisa is a intelligent, sweet, athletic, kind, a wonderful sister and daughter who’s blossomed into a beautiful 21-year-old young lady,” wrote her sister, Keena, who pointed out that Jalisa has excelled in everything she’s set out to do: She was the 2009 and 2010 All State, All county, All conference, and New York State Volleyball Player of the Year; she was on the high honor roll throughout her high school years, and played the clarinet. She even graduated from East Rockaway High school early after signing with the University of Pittsburgh Volleyball team in 2010.
Life was going great for Jalisa. But on May 13, she was stricken with a rare and severe blood infection Group A Streptococcus, resulting in necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome. “She has lost both legs, her right thumb and will lose part of her left thumb with other fingertips in question,” said Keena. “She has minimal to no use of her hands or arms.”
Jalisa’s remains in the hospital’s trauma ICU. She’s strong, a fighter, and has wowed the surgeons with her progress, said Keena. Jalisa has already undergone more than 20 surgeries, with more to come.
“Her life has changed forever,” said Keena. “But by the grace of God, she’s alive,”
Any donations to help Jalisa through this will be greatly appreciated, Keena said on behalf of her family. All donations will go towards Jalisa’s hospital and medical care, and recovery expenses that she will need to regain as much of her life back as possible.
Donations can be sent to Keena Barnes, P.O. Box 310 East Rockaway, NY 11518 or by visiting http://www.gofundme.com/teamjay2013. As of this writing, almost $6,500 has been raised out of the $250,000 requested for medical and recovery expenses.
Update on Jalisa from Keena:
The love, support and faith that we have witnessed over the past week via emails and texts is unbelievable. Keep the prayers comin,g and thank you so much for all of the support. Jalisa is improving everyday. She’s down to two surgeries per week with possible emergency surgeries in between … she has come a long way. God bless her.
Notes to Jalisa
From those who contributed on http://www.gofundme.com/teamjay2013