A mother and daughter from Waterloo district in Ewarton, St. Catherine, have fallen on hard times, and have appealed publicly for food, medical supplies, employment and a place to call home.
The 59-year-old mother, Roxanne Gordon, is a diabetic.
“Because I am a diabetic, I lost my big toe [in 2015] and I have a cut under my foot bottom and it is giving me a hard time,” she told The Beacon, adding that her medical condition worsens whenever she gets hungry.
“Being a diabetic, mi cannot stay hungry. If mi hungry, mi goh inna [diabetic] coma; mi kinda block out. Sometimes mi daughter fight and revive mi.”
The mother stated that, in order for her diabetic wounds to be treated regularly, she would require a vehicle to transport her to the nearest health centre – the one located in Ewarton.
“I used to go to Linstead [Health Centre] and get it dressed, but the fare [is an issue]. It cost mi $200 to go there and $200 [to return home],” she explained.
“Regarding Ewarton Clinic, each time I am going there, I have to charter a car because I walk with a stick, and sometimes mi in so much pain you wouldn’t believe.”
The mother added that, on the two last occasions when she went to Linstead Health Centre, she was told that no wound dressing is available.
“Dem never dress it the last two times because of the corona (COVID-19); dem never have any dressing,” she said. “Even the insulin mi goh to Linstead Hospital to get and they said they didn’t have any. Wi haffi beg money to buy it privately.”
Turning to the issue of housing, the mother said she is being evicted from the property on which she built a wooden house some 17 years. She added that the person who gave her permission to occupy the property brought police to the location to evict her, and is now threatening court action.
One of the mother’s three adult children, Telissa Williams, has been living with her since 2014 when she (the mother) contracted Chikungunya virus.
The daughter, who became the main breadwinner, has not been employed since February this year – a situation that compounded the family’s struggle.
In a letter to The Beacon a few days ago, the daughter said: “A few kind friends have helped us out from time to time, but now they are also in need… Right now the food is the most important thing, and my mother has a cut on her right foot that needs dressing. If we could get some hydrogen peroxide, honey, gauze and tape – along with the groceries – we would greatly appreciate it.”
The daughter, in the meantime, said she previously worked at a Cash Pot shop, and is now seeking a job in the Ewarton or Linstead area.
“I got a job in Ewarton, but they were only paying me $6,000 [per week], and it was week on and week off. The pay could hardly stretch. I would like to get a job where I can work every week, but, if it is the shift system, I would still work with it,” she explained.
The daughter disclosed that her mother was registered with the St. Catherine Poor Relief Department, but later transferred to another welfare programme known as PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education). She is also a beneficiary of the National Health Fund.
Councillor for the Ewarton Division, Beverly Jobson Grant, confirmed: “The mother is a registered poor in the parish and gets help, but needs more.”
A number of people have been donating mainly food items since The Beacon published the family’s appeal on its Facebook page a few days ago.
The daughter said the donations include two vouchers from an agent of Councillor Grant – one used at a pharmacy and the other at a supermarket.
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