Left to rot

The family of stricken Ryan Rampersad, centre, yesterday at the Port of Spain General Hospital. At right is his wife Sally Ann Rampersad and his grandmother Verro James.
The family of stricken Ryan Rampersad, centre, yesterday at the Port of Spain General Hospital. At right is his wife Sally Ann Rampersad and his grandmother Verro James.

PORT OF SPAIN — Sea Lots accident victim Ryan Rampersad’s skeletal frame has a number of bed sores, he is 98 per cent paralysed – he can only move his eyes to look at a picture of his two young children.

In this vegetative state, he was discharged last week by doctors of the Port of Spain General Hospital who said he was stable and nothing more could be done to help him.

However, Rampersad remains warded after Health Minister Dr. Fuad Khan intervened and instructed that he be kept and given good care.

But, when the Express visited Rampersad yesterday at ward 41, signs of neglect were very visible.

Because his entire body is paralysed, his head hangs to the left of the bed, as a result his left ear was in a decaying state.

Behind his left earlobe, there is a gaping sore hole in his head.

His left and right sides of his buttock also have bed sores as well as his left ankle.

One of his sores became infected and was oozing.

He is unable to breathe on his own and a tracheotomy tube has been placed in his throat – which his family had to purchase from a pharmacy in San Juan for $175 as the hospital had none.

Rampersad is fed fluids through a direct tube to his stomach.

He wears diapers and has to be cleaned and given a bath on his bed.

A man whose life revolved around his two children – daughter Naomi, 3, and one year old son Nyron, lies helpless in the hospital at age 20. His family prays for a miracle to return his health and strength.

Rampersad was one of the six people who was run over by an off duty policeman in Sea Lots on February 24.

That accident claimed the lives of Haydee Paul, 28 and her two daughters Shakira, seven, and Akasha, eight.

Two women – Amanda Lalla and Abigail Assing were also injured but released from hospital.

Yesterday marked the 108th day that Rampersad has been at Port of Spain General Hospital.

Family’s plea

Last Friday, his wife – Sally Ann Rampersad, 20, and his grandmother Verro James visited Khan at the Health Ministry’s Port of Spain office and pleaded with the minister to keep Rampersad at the hospital as they have no means or accommodation of providing the specific care that he required.

Speaking to the Express by phone, Khan confirmed that he met with Rampersad’s relatives.

“I told the chairman of the NWRHA to keep him and make sure he gets the best treatment,” said Khan.

Khan said he recognised that Rampersad’s family is in a dire situation in that the breadwinner of the family is now paralysed and there is no income to support his two young children.

The minister said he tried to get social assistance moving as the process was dragging.

Questioned on Rampersad’s condition, Khan said “he’s completely down, all that can be done is to keep him as comfortable as possible, they are keeping him alive actually,”.

Told of Rampersad’s bed sores, Khan reiterated that he instructed that he be well taken care of.

“I understand the concerns of the family, it is severe damage that he has, the most you can do is hope and pray, there is nothing more that can be done,” he said.

Khan said he instructed that Rampersad remains hospitalised because he understands that his family are unable to take care of him. (Express)

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