Jamaicans in the diaspora and at home have responded positively to an appeal made by a former ward of the state, Omar Cooke, from Union district in Lluidas Vale, St. Catherine.
They will cover his initial medical costs and also construct a room for him.
The assistance already received includes donations totaling JA$100,000. That was given for Omar to undergo an urgent medical check-up today (March 26) to ascertain the cause of a major chest pain, which, among other things, is preventing him from keeping a permanent job.
The check-up should have been done already, but it was delayed due to financial problems.
In light of that, Omar, five days ago, made a public appeal via The Beacon for $50,000 to cover the medical examination and associated costs such as transportation.
He is ecstatic that donors – predominantly Jamaicans living abroad, already doubled what he had requested.
“I just want to thank you all everybody for all those donations that you have sent to me,” the 27-year-old said.
Omar also oozed confidence that he will be alive and well after the medical check-up today.
“What’s going through my mind right now is just faith, and trusting Jesus, and knowing that whatever his will is for me he will work it out… Most of all, I do believe Jesus will keep me alive through this test,” Omar added.
He also noted that persons who promised to make donations in the coming days can still do so as he expects further medical treatment after getting the relevant diagnosis.
Omar also expressed gratitude for the bed and care packages he has received since making the appeal for assistance.
He previously was sleeping on a cardboard in a shack at Union District, where he was born.
When Omar was below 10 years old, his mother ran away, leaving him and two sisters at Union district. As a result of that, the authorities took Omar and his sisters into children’s homes where they spent the rest of their childhood.
Omar noted that, since his release from children’s home at age 17, his life has been a constant struggle. He recently relocated to Union district, hoping for a turn-around.
His native community, Union district, is located in Lluidas Vale Division in St. Catherine North West, where Hugh Graham is Member of Parliament (MP).
The MP said, considering the fact that donors already are covering Omar’s medical costs, he will build a room for the young man.
He explained that his plan was to build a wooden room, but residents have promised to contribute financially towards building a concrete structure.
Graham added: “Regarding the house, we were thinking of giving him (Omar) something quick – plyboard and stuff, but then it moved to a block house… I heard that some other people want to be involved in it, and I really don’t want to hog the show… If other people are interested, I wouldn’t want to shut them out. We will go the journey.”
Graham further told The Beacon that he has given instruction for building blocks to be sent to the construction site by early next week.
His constituency Secretary, Moneque Brown, who is also the People’s National Party’s candidate in the Lluidas Vale Division, expressed gratitude for the support .
She stated that she was not previously aware of the young man’s plight, adding that she started seeking help when the situation eventually was brought to her attention.
“I never knew somebody was living in that building (shack); I did not know that young man (Omar) had returned to the community per se,” Brown further told The Beacon. “The Member of Parliament will be doing his part, and I will be seeking support in doing my part.”
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