St Thomas man finds a new home
BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE Sunday Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
NATHAN Frazer, the St Thomas resident who, up to last Sunday has been living a forgotten life, has found a new home at the St Thomas infirmary, courtesy of the Poor Relief Department.
Frazer, 85, was removed last Sunday afternoon from his leaking one-room shack made of wood and rusting zinc which leaked whenever it rained in Font Hill after the Sunday Observer highlighted the senior citizen's living conditions in a front page article headlined 'Living like a Hog'.
Errol Green, secretary/manager of the St Thomas Parish Council, said that quick action was taken that resulted in Frazer being removed to his new home.
"The report I have is that they had actually visited him before ... the assistant commissioner of poor encouraged him and offered to take him to the infirmary but at the time he said he wasn't quite ready because according to him he had some unfinished business at Caymanas that he wanted to go do - which was highlighted in your story," Green told the Sunday Observer on Friday.
"So he told her that when he got back from Caymanas then he would come. So she left some food for him. That was about three weeks ago, and upon seeing your story I made some contact with the inspector of poor who went and she didn't leave him, she took him to the infirmary and he was admitted on Sunday afternoon," Green said.
"The story and pictures lick off some people off them nerves when they see it (in the newspaper). That's why mi end up down here," a smiling Frazer told the Jamaica Observer news team upon arrival at the infirmary on Friday.
"It lick off plenty people off their nerves," Frazer continued.
Frazer, who was seen mingling with a male nurse and other residents of the infirmary, was neatly shaved and wore a yellow top and jeans trousers. He was hardly identifiable when compared to the seedy individual who greeted the team less than a week ago.
"Right now I am comfortable and I am not molested," Frazer said. "I am getting meals and such ... you know, because several times back home I never know where the next meal was coming from. I'm not smelling anything to get me upset like up Font Hill, So I have to look on these things because of where I am coming from," he said.
Frazer is still trying to come to terms with living with rules, and 73 other residents daily, something he has not been accustomed to. However, he makes light of the matter.
"They have rules and regulations and I have to follow them, or I might die with my shoes on going down the river of no return," he said with a laugh. "If you cannot live up to rules and regulations that mean you break the law and you entitled to die with your shoes on going down the river of no return. You know I have to live to the condition," he said.
Green said that Frazer will be a resident of the St Thomas Infirmary until his relatives come forward and choose to remove him, or until he finds himself in a position where he can take care of himself.
The secretary/manager, a retired town clerk of the Kingston & St Andrew Corporation, said that the infirmary is a comfortable place to live, as he visits regularly to ensure that the conditions are up to standard, while also inspecting the facilities.
"In fact it was just last week that some seventh grade students from Hillel donated an industrial washer and dryer to the infirmary. So I am satisfied that the conditions are good and I'm satisfied that there is enough space," the secretary manager said.
Taneisha Colquhoun, matron of the St Thomas Infirmary, said that Frazer has settled in happily since his arrival a week ago.
"I think he is comfortable here," Colquhoun said. "He came on Sunday afternoon and I gave him an orientation of the ward, showing him where his bed was, what is expected of him, what he should expect from the staff members and he was quite happy with what he was told," the matron said.
Frazer is one of 23 male residents at the facility.
She said that every resident is seen by the doctor who visits once per week and who is on call for emergencies.
"The doctor has to see every resident, do a complete assessment - head to toe assessment, system by system assessment, and ask for past medical history. From there we take care of them medically," Colquhoun said.
Colquhoun said that her most recent resident is friendly with the others, jovial and though elderly, is quite aware of his surroundings. She noted that he has some "wonderful stories" to tell about back in the days.
Frazer serenaded the Jamaica Observer team with a song before bidding us farewell - a song which aptly speaks of his situation as it ends ...I will not cry any more, there will be no troubles anymore.