Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Blind man gets Christmas wish

Published:Thursday | December 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels
Maleika assists her uncle Anthony Maxfield with his grocery shopping.
Anthony Maxfield removes a parcel of flour from the shelves while his niece Maleika looks on.
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MAY PEN, Clarendon:

Anthony Maxfield has been blind for more than 23 years and has not gone to the supermarket since he lost his sight, but his situation took a merry turn this Christmas when his dream became a reality.

The proprietor of Gibson's Petroleum, Garfield Gibson, through the James and Friends Education Programme, granted Maxfield a $15,000 supermarket voucher to shop for food so that he can have a home-made Christmas dinner.

"I was really surprised when Mr Otis James told me one of the sponsors of the programme decided to grant me my Christmas wish of going shopping so I can at least have a decent Christmas dinner," Maxfield told Rural Xpress with a smile.

JOB LOSS

Maxfield, who is now 59 years old, realised he had cataract when he was 36 years old. "The cataract was growing on the left eye and I did an operation to remove it; then, in no time, the other eye started to go bad. Eventually, both of them just went," he explained to Rural Xpress. Maxfield then lost his job and had to resort to small menial ventures just so he could survive. He rears chicken in his backyard and prepares them for sale, but that has oftentimes proven to be a challenge, given his current situation.

"It gets hard at times, so rough that I have to go to the shop and truss likkle tings fi eat. Sometimes me truss half-pound a sugar, half-pound a cornmeal, and Lasco, fi mek porridge. Sometimes me no have di money an' me no know where it a come from, so sometimes dem not even waa truss me, but dis year I don't have to truss. Instead, I have something that I can give somebody even a plate of food out of it."

Gibson says he feels good to know that he could at least make someone else's Christmas brighter. "It's a joy to see the blind man walking down the aisle; it's really good to see him and the goods in the trolley."

Aided by his 12-year-old niece Maleika, Maxfield picked up goods totalling almost $20,000 which was paid for by Gibson. Gibson said this will not be a one-off gesture, but, instead, will continue into next year. He will get grocery vouchers to go shopping every month.

"I see Christmas," said the visually impaired man "and I'm very happy. I really appreciate it man, I'm glad for it. I really get a good surprise this Christmas, mi shop till me nearly drop," Maxwell exclaimed.