Do you know Esmina?

Charity group wants to locate senior citizen's relatives

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, January 12, 2019

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MORE than 30 years ago Esmina Millwood wandered into the town of Bog Walk, St Catherine, and was taken in by a man with whom she had been living since.

However, the kind gentleman, Burchell Brown, who rescued Miss Esmina from the streets and welcomed her into his humble abode in the community, recently passed leaving Millwood, who is now very sickly, all on her own.

The elderly woman, who is unable to say how old she is, or where she was born, is hypertensive and now at risk of being hospitalised because of how high her blood pressure is, according to her neighbour Donna Mighty, who has been assisting her.

Consequently, concerned Jamaicans from a charity group HELP Outreach, who had been helping the two senior citizens while they lived in deplorable conditions before getting a room in a section of the community called Pineapple, would like to locate Millwood's relatives.

“Mr Brown had a cart and he would push it around to get a little money to buy food, but then his eyes started going bad and just before he went blind his home that was on the highway fell down and that was when we came in and started helping out by providing grocery and giving the lady money,” HELP Outreach President Eusa Samuels told the Jamaica Observer.

On Wednesday when the Observer and members of HELP Outreach visited Millwood she was seen sitting with her feet, one of which was swollen, hoisted on a bench in her room which appeared to have been recently painted.

The woman, who did not seem bothered by the presence of other people in the room, was however unable to carry on a conversation, but could only to softly mumble her name.

Her neighbour and other residents were also unable to provide any information about her origin or relatives as they say they have never seen any visitors.

Mighty was, however, able to produce a National Identification Card which bears Millwood's name and which showed that she was born on January 25, 1947. But that card was issued to her when she arrived in Bog Walk.

According to Mighty and others, Millwood, who is referred to as Miss Esmina, is unable to adequately care for herself and is contributing to her ill health because of her unhygienic practices in the storage of her foods and the meals she prepares.

“She would cook food and have it in there for three days; ah it she give Mr Brown and give him bad stomach,” said Lisa Richards, a member of HELP Outreach.

“A keg was in there with food; all maggots were in there,” Richards claimed.

Mighty added: “She have some buckets in here where she keep her food, bare cockroaches in them, and they are not clean; a from over the hog pen she go and get them.”

Mighty opened one of the buckets and showed the inside which was not pleasant to look at. However, Miss Esmina was not pleased that Mighty wanted to throw out the buckets and mumbled at her to leave them alone.

In the meantime, Pauline Brown, another member of HELP Outreach, said she was concerned about the elderly woman and wished her relatives would come for her or for her to be placed in a home.

“Mi woulda glad if dem find somebody for her; it nuh stay good. It's a sorry case,” she said.

But Mighty said Millwood's situation is not as bad as it was before, as she and another lady in the community have taken on the task of helping out.

“Right at the moment it is going to take a lot of hard work to care for her as she is sickly. But I never see no relative for her come, so me and Miss Anita are looking after her and I heard about how dem treat dem in the homes, so I wouldn't like for her to be placed in any home,” she said.

Meanwhile, Richards said the St Catherine Poor Relief Department was told about the conditions in which both Millwood and Brown were living, but only sent an official after Brown passed on December 29. The official has promised to return.

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