AMITY, Westmoreland - Sixty-two-year-old Carlton Irving, popularly called 'Trinity' has served the Savanna-la- Mar community as a newspaper vendor for nearly three decades.
However, his service was abruptly halted after he was shot during a hold-up while on his beat in the tough Hudson Street inner-city area during the wee hours one fateful morning in October, 2009.
The incident has since created untold hardships for the once hard-working newspaper vendor, who is now a paraplegic without a source of income.
"Mi would like to walk, mi would a like go back to work. Mi want do something feh miself. Mi can't just a depend pon people. Everything wha mi have spend out," said the teary -eyed Irving.
As a consequence of his sufferings—Irving who now has to wear pampers because he urinates and defecate on himself—is appealing to the public for financial and other assistance to refurbish his house, pay his bills, purchase food and other necessities.
"On some occasions mi turn over in mi wheelchair in the yard and have to stay out there for hours. One day mi turn over and lick mi head back, mi daughter come and see mi and reprimanded mi to stay inside," Irving bemoaned. " Mi have to try to help myself, empty mi bucket and clean myself".
The paraplegic recounted that on the morning when he was shot he was transporting a woman on his bicycle through Hudson Street when they were held up by three gun-toting young men, one of whom brandished a shotgun.
He recalled that a tussle ensued between himself and the armed men, during which time he was shot by the one armed with the shotgun.
"The one with the shotgun shoot mi in my hip and they ran off with mi bag which contained two dirty plates, a teacup, a pack of tough crackers and my cellular phone. That's all they got," Irving claimed.
He said that he rode off in search of his female companion who went missing after the shooting subsided.
"I couldn't find her so I went down to "Russia" and informed her sons of the incident. They said she hadn't arrived as yet. So I went to the police station where the police said she had already left after making a report of the incident".
Efforts to get a comment from the police on the incident were unsuccessful.
In the meantime, Irving said after being treated at hospital he commenced selling newspaper the same day.
But according to him, about seven months after he was unable to walk. He claimed that after frequent visits to the Savanna-la-Mar General hospital as an out-patient he was eventually admitted for almost seven months at the University Hospital of the West Indies where he underwent surgery.
After he was discharged from the University Hospital he was sent back to the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital where he was admitted and released in January this year.
Since then Irving said "some movement has returned" to his feet, but added that it's not sufficient for him to move around by himself.
The former newspaper vendor who said he is eager to be self reliant again, has heaped praises on members of Petersfield Seventh-day Adventist Church—where he has now become a member—for providing him with meals daily.
" I am now baptised. Since mi start to go church mi feel happy," he said.
" The church people send mi a cooked meal everyday and give mi little snacks when mi go a church on the Sabbath. When mi go clinic, a doctor there sometimes give mi a $2,000. But as mi get it mi give mi daughter to pay light bill and buy food".
Irving hails from Kingston where he was employed as a security guard. But in 1979 when the security company got a contract to service a location in Westmoreland, he was transferred to the parish and has not left ever since.