Sat | Dec 10, 2016

A father's struggle with challenged boys

Published:Saturday | October 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Annext Melhado (right) with son, David. Missing is Robert Melhado, the older son who wandered off before the interview after their monthly doctor's appointment.

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Porus, Manchester:It is no easy task for anyone to take full responsibility of the home as a single parent. It becomes even more difficult when unemployment is at the helm of the struggles faced and there is the constant reminder that your children's needs aren't being met.

Annext Melhado, who hails from a small community in Porus, Manchester, has been struggling to care for his two mentally challenged sons since they were toddlers. He said ever since their mother left, it has been an up-and-down battle.

"David is 13 years old now and Robert is 16. I have had them since they were 2 years and a couple months old. Their mother left when she found out they were retarded and I have been here struggling with them from that time. I never knew she could do this to her children, her own blood."

Melhado, who formerly worked for a private contractor bushing power line areas, said he could no longer work after he had an altercation with his brother-in-law two years ago during which he was injured.

"I tried going back to work sometime after and I kept blocking out. I have blurry vision and my sinus get bad so me just haffi stop."

Having been reduced to begging and careful budgeting of funds as low as $100 for fare or food, the father of two said his sons' curious minds are another of his constant worries.

"They make me tired, 'cause you have to watch them keenly. They have the habit of just wandering off. Sometimes they watch me 'til I fall asleep and then they just go way and when I jump up I have to go out and look for them even if it is night."

With only prayer as his key to surviving, Melhado said he will not give up, but continue to look to God for strength.

"I recently got saved. I pray day and night. Prayer is all I have and I'm not giving up. I love my children and I'm not giving up on them, but all I need is a little help."

"I need help with them to go to a private school, or help with somebody to teach them because they were in the primary school system first, but because of their disability, they were abused and teased by the children. I remember one time a student slammed dem head in di wall and I tek it to heart and take dem from the school because I love dem and I don't want dem to kill dem."

He pleaded, "If there is anyone willing I would also appreciate some help with getting their medication and my medication cause things are rough."

Annext Melhado can be contacted at (876) 783-7054 or (876) 838-2316.

rural@gleanerjm.com