Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Unlucky blind man to receive help from public defender

Published:Friday | March 2, 2018 | 12:06 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Percival McIntosh, who is blind, and who has also fallen on hard times, sitting on the sidewalk in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, begging for a living.

The life of an elderly man who was blinded by glaucoma in 2006 was further complicated when he fell into a gully and broke one of his legs.

Percival McIntosh told The Gleaner on Wednesday that he once drove a bus that transported civil servants but that he has now been reduced to a life of begging in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew. Since his accident, he has made constant appeals to several relevant government agencies but has received no significant assistance.

He has reasoned that it is when he is dead that he will begin receiving some form of attention.

"I got blind the last day of January 2006. When I went to America, they said I had glaucoma. Around three to four years ago, I dropped off Slipe Pen Road bridge and down into a gully, 11ft to 12ft, and broke my leg and was knocked out," McIntosh related. "I never knew thieves took off the rail off the bridge and I missed my balance. I don't even get an icy mint.

"I have to be out here from 5 a.m. into rain and sun. They handle me course, man. I am suffering out here. The Government of Jamaica handle disabled people bad. They support who is dead more than who is alive," McIntosh stated.

He has to pay $600 per day for a room at a St Andrew motel where he sleeps and takes showers. He is grateful to the proprietors of that establishment because he doesn't always have the money to pay them, but they are usually accommodating until he is able to pay up in full.




But help is on the way for McIntosh, according to Public Defender Arlene Harrison-Henry. After checking her office's database, she called The Gleaner to say that McIntosh's case is being seriously looked into.

"He came to us much later, after his attorney, it seems, was getting nowhere. He came to us in May 2017. This is one of our active files, and we are trying to get compensation for him," Harrison-Henry disclosed. "We are negotiating for him and he is aware. Last month, he came here and we had full conversations with him. His matter is getting perfectly good attention," she added.