Arthur well on the mend

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur has thanked well-wishers, including those in the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), for their sentiments expressed, as he continues his recovery from a recent foot injury.

Yesterday, the former BLP Member of Parliament for St Peter, who recently turned Independent, was noticeably in “great spirits” as he spoke to Barbados TODAY from his Bayview Hospital bed.

Relaxed owen
Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur in a past interview.

He joking suggested to the newspaper: “I don’t believe that anyone has given you an interview from their hospital bed in the past.”

However, he declined to have his photograph taken, saying: “I don’t want you to be encouraging a salacious attitude in the country, and for me to present myself in my pyjamas may be to cause people to feel that I have intent,” he quipped.

Arthur, who is a diabetic, spoke freely though about the injury that resulted in his hospitalization.

“I’m very much on the mend. I am not really sick; I am just here doing what needs to be done to make sure I do not convert a simple problem, a wound to my foot, into a catastrophe.

In explaining how his injury was caused, he said: “I’m a country boy and I still can’t get out of the habit sometimes of feeling that you should do kitchen gardening barefoot. So I stepped on a bougainvillea thorn and that caused it,” he said, while giving the assurance “there is no threat to my toes or anything”.

“I’m not losing any limbs. The wound is healing very well. The infection is virtually gone, and I have stayed on the therapy,” he said.

Reacting to the recent best wishes issued by BLP leader Mia Mottley on behalf of the party, Arthur said: “I have nothing against the Barbados Labour Party; but I believe that what I’m doing now is in the best interest of the country, myself and the party.

“I have made it very clear I didn’t want to continue to play a role in the party, as I was perceived as just an agent of mischief and destabilization, doing things for my own potential return to power and whatever else. And, I could do without that. I really could,” he told Barbados TODAY.

He also thanked the staff at Bayview who have been looking after his health care.

“I must say I have had only the best professional care; but I have been very dutiful in obeying the instructions from the doctors and the nurses. So those people who feel I can be very difficult sometimes would be very disappointed to learn how I am when I have to subject myself to medical care,” Arthur said, adding: “I’m as obedient as they come.”

Asked when he was likely to be released, he said: “I am not going to go home and then have to come back every day for dressing. I have not played with this [injury]. I know I just can’t go into the garden just casually like that. [I have told the doctors] just get me better and then I will be fine.”

However, the MP expects to be home in time to prepare for two important regional engagements in November –– a lecture at the Institute of International Relations on the future of the regional integration movement, and an address to the ruling St Lucia Labour Party’s convention at the end of next month.

“I am also mulling thoughts over in my head as to what will be my contribution as an Independent member in the Budget. I’m looking forward to it,” said Arthur.

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