An elderly man, who sits virtually all day in a shack near some bustling businesses and a church in the Vanity Fair area of Linstead, St Catherine, is struggling to keep flies away from a festering sore in the region of his left ankle.
Lionel Shaw, also called Shots, told The Beacon that he does not have enough money to treat the sore or the underlying problem that seemingly caused both of his feet to become swollen.
He said he recently spent $5,500 to have his feet examined, but they only got worse.
“I have to stop the medicine completely or I would lose mi foot over two months ago,” Shaw said, pointing at his right foot.
He seemingly tried to direct attention away from his left foot, but the piece of cloth in which it is wrapped gave away the secret – the sore.
When Shaw eventually rolled up his left pants foot, a number of flies flew from beneath it.
“Mi cover it up because the fly dem a trouble it; mi fraid a di fly dem; mi nuh like dem,” he asserted.
Shaw told The Beacon that he does not have any children, but he admitted that he helped to care for two poverty-stricken able-bodied women who hang around him with five children who seem to be in the same age group.
The senior citizen said he has been trying to contact his brother who lives in the United Kingdom, adding that his five other siblings are already deceased.
He further said he has been facing tough financial times especially over the last two years. Shaw attributed that financial decline to a motor vehicle that crashed into the wooden shop, which he built some 25 years ago along the main road near Linstead bridge, heading from Vanity Fair district.
He stated that, in his heydays, he did bicycle repairs and sold bicycle parts at the location.
His business, since the crash, has been reduced to only bicycle repairs.
Shaw stated that he has lost many customers, but some still show up, allowing him to put food on his table.
He indicated that he is not seeking to live on handouts; he wants help to repair his shop so that his earning power can be fully restored.
Shaw is confident that, if the shop is repaired, he would be able to earn enough funds to cover his medical bills.
“My problem is to now get mi shop fix back and get it running. Everybody rate mi; mi can build bicycle from even the scratch,” he added.
The senior citizen further posited that he is disappointed that successive governments have not helped people like him who have been making a genuine attempt to help themselves.
“I don’t si where this government really look out for the people who try to develop themselves; I don’t see where this government help the people who decide to help themselves,” Shaw reasoned. “I never see a man come here and say, ‘I see yuh trying; what you want to help yourself?”
Shaw, who was a security guard in his much younger years, made it clear that he will not lose hope.
“Mi still nuh give up. No, mi nuh give up. Mi feel like someone or some help is out there for me,” he further said.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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