A graduate of Mico Teachers College and serving member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Cordel Cockings, oozes confidence that he will be alive much longer to make further contribution towards the progress of his country and his people.
“I strongly believe that, with the help of the Father and continued support from friends and family and corporate Jamaica, I will overcome.”
“I strongly believe that I will celebrate in the end; I don’t believe this is the end of the road for me,” said Cockings, who has been having the battle of his life with end stage renal failure or kidney failure since being diagnosed in 2016.
The 30-year-old police officer’s kidneys effectively have stopped working properly, and so he may die if he does not undergo regular dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant.
Cockings, the father of two young children, has been pumping a lot of his personal funds into his fight, but, as many may know, it takes a lot of cash to treat diseases like kidney failure.
The police officer’s dialysis bill alone – excluding a number of other costs – is $126,000 monthly.
“I do dialysis three times for the week, and it is $10,500 per session. The Jamaica Police Federation makes a monthly contribution; I have to find the other payments,” he told The Jamaica Beacon.
“At the moment, I am experiencing challenges to pay for all my dialysis treatment, as well as to do follow-up blood checks and purchase my medications. Therefore, I would love if I could get any assistance in that regard.”
Death list at hospitals?
Cockings, who is being treated at a private facility, noted that he could access dialysis treatment a bit cheaper at two public hospitals. However, the waiting list at those hospitals are so long, people are literally waiting for others to die in order to get their turn at the dialysis machines.
“Kingston Public Hospital and Spanish Town Hospital are full, and they cannot accommodate anybody else at the moment. So I definitely have to seek private locations to do dialysis to stay alive. If you are going to wait on the public hospital, you might die before you get a chance to go on their list. People on their lists normally get a call from the hospital when somebody at the hospital dies; that’s how challenging it is,” the police officer further explained.
“There are many people diagnosed with kidney failure in Jamaica; there aren’t enough machines at the public hospitals to accommodate everybody.”
The police officer is undergoing dialysis treatment now, but he is not ruling out the possibility of a kidney transplant.
In other words, someone – preferably with type O Positive blood – is being asked to donate one of their kidneys to him. Such person can contact a nephrologist or ask their personal doctor to direct them to one, Cockings said.
Meanwhile, the police officer, who is from the Spanish Town area of St Catherine, told The Jamaica Beacon that there is a bit of mystery surrounding the failure of his kidneys. “My case is a weird case,” he explained.
“I did not have any diabetes or high blood pressure – which are the two main causes of the disease. I am not a drinker and I do not smoke. I am a physically active person, being a cricketer. It is surprising to me and to the doctors how I developed this illness. To this date, the cause of it is undetermined.”
Despite the mystery, Cockings has taken up the challenge, and is grateful for the support he has been getting so far.
With a bit more assistance, however, he will be able to stay alive and to continue giving his service through the JCF, of which he has been an upstanding member for nearly seven years.
“It is a privilege to serve my country as a police officer,” the survivor said. “I would like to be remembered as a highly rated officer with strong integrity, who is never caught up in wrongdoing, but who does his job professionally, fairly, and fervently at all times.”
The symptoms of kidney failure, in the meantime, include reduced amount of urine; unexplained shortness of breath; excessive drowsiness or fatigue; and swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet caused by failure of the kidneys to eliminate water waste.
– Horace Mills