Shanique Samuels, Gleaner Writer
Vera Edwards, 58, affectionately called Rhona, was hospitalised with severe injuries after she was hit by a motor car in January this year. Rhona, who is from Clarendon, had gone to Manchester to visit relatives when it was alleged that she walked out on to the roadway and was hit by a car in the capital, Mandeville.
She was taken to the Mandeville Regional Hospital with a broken leg but was transferred soon after to the Kingston Public Hospital as she was found to have internal bleeding.
"Her head and belly (stomach) were drained for internal bleeding," said her 70-year-old husband, Clarence Edwards. He continued: "She was in a coma for more than a month. She nuh know nobody an she nuh know weh she deh."
He said the doctors had to "slit her throat and put in tubes to feed her".
She spent more than six months in hospital. He said her leg was badly broken, to the point where he had to purchase iron pins to hold the bones together. "The four pieces of iron cost me over J$40,000, plus J$18,000 to scan her head."
Edwards said had it not been for his life savings, he wouldn't have been able to care for his wife.
He and his wife and their only child, Steve, live in an unfinished structure in Mount Clair, Clarendon. He said it is a struggle for them to survive on a daily basis as the little money he had saved up has been spent on his wife since her accident.
"Right now, we barely surviving. Me cut likkle grass fi a living, but as a 'wacker man', most times there is nothing to do. But when it rains, it gi me likkle hope because the grass will grow an' me wi get a likkle work. If me no work, me cyaa tek care a mi wife, an she sick bad. She can't even walk," he said.
He added that he has received no assistance from his wife's side of the family, and the insurance company refuses to compensate her for the damage to her person. He provided Rural Xpress with a letter stating that "the (insurance) company will not accept liability for the damages as she walked out into the road before ensuring it was safe to do so, and as such, she is the author of her own misfortune".
He said sometimes she misses the therapy sessions prescribed for her as he cannot afford to take her to Mandeville to access the service.
Edwards recalls having to push her in a wheelchair to the May Pen Hospital - which is about three miles from home - for treatment.
He said the added pressure of having to provide extra attention for his sick wife is too much for him. "It mash me up a whole lot because if me get a likkle work an go do it, me still affi come back home work again, an me a 70 years old. Me cyaa afford fi employ anybody fi look after her."
Edwards is desperately pleading for any assistance he can get.
"There is no help that I'd turn down at this time, so if there is anything anyone out there can do for us, I would greatly appreciate it."