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The mother of a severely malnourished St Mary man whose impoverished condition was highlighted in a recent newscast said she is being wrongfully judged by people who have accused her of abandoning her disabled son.

Laurel Thomas of Oracabessa, St Mary, said angry residents have been threatening to kill her after the media highlighted that her blind and paralysed son, who was living with his elderly father, was on the brink of starvation.

Laurel Thomas shows prescription and paper for her son’s CAT scan. (PHOTO: RENAE DIXON)


But an emotional Thomas said she did not abandon her son Carlton Dennis and his father, as residents have claimed, but has, instead, been seeking help for them without success.

According to Thomas, failure to receive assistance led her calling in the media to highlight their plight.

However, she said, the plan backfired as she is now being heavily judged by society.

“Miss, mi hardly live nuh weh either, enuh. A orange and coconut mi sell and always carry little food go give dem,” she explained.

She said one prominent figure told her that he would ensure she got nothing out of recent donations being made to her son by members of the public who have been touched by the deplorable condition under which Dennis and his father were living.

The mother said she too needs assistance and could only have helped them in small ways.

“Yu know from when mi a try get one of the government house. The whole a the board in the house weh mi live a rotten down,” she said.

Thomas said she has been painted as a bad mother, but while people have being condemning her no one knows her story and it is time she told it.

The mother said she first had a daughter by Dennis’ father at age 13. One year later she was again pregnant, this time with Dennis.

A teen herself, she said, taking care of two young children was difficult. It was during this time that Dennis, she said, got into a fight at school which resulted in his eyes being affected and a few years later he became blind.

After much struggling, Thomas said Dennis’ father took his son and went away leaving her with her daughter. Thomas said, for years, she tried to find her son but could not.

It was several years later, when Dennis had become an adult, that she finally found out where they were, after much searching.

Thomas said she had four other children after her son Dennis and life for her has been a major struggle.

“Sometime mi have to climb tree like man fi go pick jelly and sell to buy food and carry go give him,” she explained.

Thomas said she had approached several persons but did not get the response the media attention brought.

“Now that it come on TV, everybody a help. And mi ask fi help long time,” she said.

Thomas said she is happy for the help that has come for the two. She, however, pointed out that her son needs medication and money to do a CAT scan, and is asking persons to assist him with those, too.

Thomas said she loves her son and this is evident by the daily visits she now makes to the hospital, where he has been admitted for some weeks now. The daily trips from her home to the hospital has, however, been taking a toll on her pocket as Thomas said sometimes she can hardly find the taxi fare.

“Mi go through stress, yah man,” an emotional Thomas told the Jamaica Observer North East.

She said it is her church which has been assisting her.

Thomas said she would love to be able to take her son when he leaves the hospital but is not in the position to do so.

The mother said she is hoping to get him into a state home as she does not have the necessary resources to take care of him.



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