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Bank officer's gesture brings cheer - Facilitates donation of wheelchair to Montego Bay resident

Published:Saturday | January 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM
David Hudson of Coombs Lane in Montego Bay used this makeshift wooden wheelchair for the past eight years. His new year has become happier as supervisor at Scotiabank's Barnett Street branch, Janet Richards, acquired a new wheelchair for him. - Photo by Barrington Flemming

Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The new year has started on a positive note for 53-year-old David Hudson of Coombs Lane in Montego Bay, St James. On Wednesday, he received a wheelchair through the initiative of Janet Richards, supervisor at Scotiabank's Barnett Street branch.

Hudson had to rely on a wooden makeshift wheelchair, which he used for the past eight years.

"This (old) chair cannot do some of the things I want. I am happy for this new chair that Mrs Richards has got for me ... . She is a nice lady. This new chair is more comfortable and easier to get around," he said, his speech slurring, a reminder of the stroke he suffered 10 years ago, which also left him unable to walk.

Hudson explained that he worked at a construction site in the Montego Freeport area and woke up one morning and discovered that he could not walk.

He was taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where he was diagnosed and informed that he had suffered a stroke.

He ekes out a living by selling phonecards and cigarettes. He has no children and only receives assistance from a nephew.

Richards said she was moved to help Hudson last November when a lady came into the bank to make a withdrawal on his behalf and said that he wanted to use his entire savings to purchase a proper wheelchair.

Hudson was unable to come into the bank, so Richards went outside to meet him.

"I was so shocked to see him in the old chair. I don't know how he used it. I told him, 'Do not withdraw the money. I will source a wheelchair for you'."

Chair sourced

Richards said she made contact with Montego Bay-based medical doctor Doris Channer-Watson, who submitted Hudson's name to the Earl Rattray Ministry, the organisation responsible for bringing 550 wheelchairs to the island.

"I am so happy today that I was able to source this comfortable wheelchair for him. It might not give him all that he wants right now, but this is a start because even his countenance has changed," Richards added.

She also appealed for public assistance to construct a house for Hudson.

"Where he now stays is a very small space. He has to leave the wheelchair outside then go inside. People of Jamaica, Mr Hudson needs you."