Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Wrier
Spanish Town, St Catherine:
Back-to-school for 13-year-old Akeel Burton means hours in the scorching sun to get to and from school each day.
The wheelchair-bound teen, who suffers from spina bifida, was seen yesterday at the gate to Eltham High School in St Catherine.
"It must be a drive that you are giving us … .We have been here for hours, can't get any vehicle. It is very stressful," Akeel's mother, Tania Williams, said when The Gleaner stopped to speak with them.
Williams said her son has been suffering with this development disorder since birth.
"I want to be a doctor when I become an adult as persons need doctors and, the way I have suffered, being a doctor, it is a way to assist others," Akeel said while sweating profusely from the heat of the sun.
The Eltham Park resident, who had attended his school's orientation, said going to school felt great, but not being able-bodied had its challenges.
"It feels very lonely when you go to school and your friends are gone home and leave you to suffer," Akeel lamented.
While The Gleaner was with Akeel and his mother at the school gate, a number of empty taxis passed by, ignoring signals to stop.
Both parties were of the view that if they could get a motorised wheelchair then Akeel's circumstances would improve.
"If the wheelchair has a motor, then him could come home easily. That would make mi feel more comfortable, " Williams said.
Claudette Bell, a nearby vendor, said she has seen the mother and her son suffering each day to get a car.
"Sometimes them (the taxis) just drive past them," Bell said.
Before The Gleaner left, a taxi driver eventually stopped to provide Akeel with a ride home.