Fri | Jan 18, 2019

I want my bionic legs! - 60-y-o finally to get birth certificate and wants British visa next

Published:Saturday | December 8, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Sixty-year-old Angella Allen is getting her birth certificate at last. She is hoping to travel to England to get a pair of prosthetic legs.

Angella Allen is among a number of senior citizens in Jamaica who have never received a birth certificate for some reason or another.

Her hope right now is to get that important piece of document in order to apply for a passport and a British visa, with the hope of travelling to that country to seek a pair of prosthetic legs. Allen lost her legs to diabetes a few years ago.

Her dream is now possible now that Allen has successfully applied for her birth certificate. She was granted the opportunity by teams from the National Identification System and the Registrar General's Department during a reception and birth-registration session at the Office of The Prime Minister in St Andrew on Thursday. The occasion also served as a treat for senior citizens.

 

'IT IS EMBARRASSING'

 

Allen said that she can't wait to hold her birth certificate because she has had enough of the embarrassment caused by not having the document.

"Nuff places I don't bother to go because I don't have a birth paper. It is embarrassing not having it because they turn you back from some places when you don't have it. I have wanted for somebody to help me to go to England, but not having a birth paper, you can't get a passport. I think all the while about it. Up to earlier this week I was thinking that I need a birth paper so I can go to England. I have a son living in England. He is around 40 now. I would really like to travel so I can get the bionic feet," she told The Gleaner.

"Going to England would be a great pleasure to me, and the cost, I think, would be much cheaper than out here. Both legs cost around $700,000. I lost my feet to diabetes. One of them I lost in 2014 and the other in 2017. In 2017, I also had a heart attack. I could have died, but God saved me."

 

WALKS ON KNEES

 

Pointing to her knees, she shared: "I walk on my knees, inuh. Somebody bought these knee pads for me."

Allen explained that her father abandoned her and her mother when she was just a baby and that that contributed in some way to her never getting a birth certificate.

"I am 60 years old, and I don't know my father. I have never seen my father. He told my mother that he was going to pick up something, but he was really leaving Jamaica. I never see him yet. Knowing that I didn't have a father troubled me sometimes. I even called Suzanne Show for help," she said.

Registrar General and Chief Executive Officer of the Registrar General's Department Deirdre English Gosse told The Gleaner that it is important for citizens like Allen to have birth certificates so that they don't "lose out. It is the first piece of identification for anyone".

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com