SHE might be 17 but she has responsibilities that many girls her age are far from contemplating.
Ulamila Wati Datt from Kula Street in Samabula, Suva, came to India in May escorting her sick mother Sainiana Datt who has successfully won her battle against cancer.
Her mother was diagnosed with cancer in September last year and Ulamila fought this with her mum with the help of modern medication and techonologies.
Mrs Datt was treated at the Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre from May until two weeks ago.
The mother and daughter returned home on Friday after spending about two months in New Delhi.
Mrs Datt underwent radiation therapy as part of her treatment and it required her teenage daughter's full attention.
Since Ulamila was the only family member around, she had to be beside her mother 24 hours.
Being far from home, life in this foreign land was not easy. They missed home, the food and the weather was harsh as India was experiencing its share of heat waves during summer.
This mother and daughter story is also a sad one.
Ulamila had to accompany her mum because her dad — Rajeshwar Datt, a soldier with the Fiji Military Forces, has been bedridden after suffering from stroke.
"My husband suffered a stroke three years ago and he has been lying down ever since so he couldn't come with me," an emotional Mrs Datt said.
She fell sick while caring for Mr Datt, and her doctors recommended her for overseas treatment.
"Ulamila was the only one who could come with me as she is covered under the Army Medical Scheme," Mrs Datt said.
In India, their roles have changed. Instead of the mother looking after her daughter, her daughter had taken on board the responsibility of her mother.
It was something unusual especially at this time where most people who had been to India for medical treatment would bring along an adult relative to look after them.
This is because the role and responsibility of medical attendants are demanding and challenging.
So for Ulamila, coming to India might be exciting given that it was her first overseas trip. But it also meant missing out on one school term.
"She had been missing school regularly ever since I became sick in September," Mrs Datt said.
Her roles included looking after her mum's welfare and liaise with doctors and hospital staff.
From making sure that her mother had her meal and pills on time to taking her for radiation therapy or to be admitted at the hospital, Ulamila has done it all.
It was her presence during this battle that helped in her mum's speedy recovery.
"I can't believe that my daughter is looking after me, not this early," Mrs Datt said. "I'm very grateful to her, I know at this age, I'm the one who is supposed to be looking after her, not the other way round" she said.
Mrs Datt said Ulamila and her younger sister Leba used to help her with looking after their sick father.
"When I got sick, my two daughters and my nephew Manueli Nalulu were the only ones who were there looking after both of us," she said.