Liberia: Pressure-Crippled Single Mother Begs for Humanitarian Support

Monrovia — Now at age 41, Ms. Fatu Gray, popularly called “Old Lady”, is being cared for like done to a child: fed by somebody, bathed by somebody, dressed up in her clothes by somebody, led to the restroom by somebody, and led into or out of her room by somebody. Her left hand and left leg are paralyzed–caused by stroke from pressure.

She occupies a tiny room in her family’s house built by her father (now deceased) located in the Battlefield community of West Point Township, Monrovia. Her family’s house is few meters behind the Head Office of the Liberia Electricity (LEC)

West Point is part of Electoral District #7 of Montserrado County being represented in the National Legislature by Hon. Solomon George.

The ‘home care’ for Fatu is currently being provided by her biological mother, Regina Yancy at her most advanced age.

“I was in my County, Maryland, when I received the heartbreaking news of my daughter’s life-threatening sickness, Pressure, or Stroke. I borrowed money for transportation to come to Monrovia and spend a few weeks with her. But I have spent over one year here now, taking care of Old Lady because none of the other adult relatives is here to help. I’m in my eightieth year,” Madam Yancy explained to this writer at Fatu’s friends who had come on a motivation-based visit on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Fatu is a neighbor of the writer’s mother.

Ms. Gray is being attacked by Diabetes and Pressure (that later transformed into Stroke) The former started in 2021; the latter struck in January 2022, she told this writer during a chat at her home in West Point (this writer’s childhood place) When she was battling only Diabetes, she was physically ‘strong’ and was carrying out her only life-sustaining economic activity: selling of fresh apples in a wheelbarrow, touring the central part of Monrovia. The strike of the Pressure has completely incapacitated her–no longer selling. Now, she’s depending on hand-outs, rice (cooked and uncooked), and small cash, for survival. With a male guest on June 9, she burst into wailing on her lunch (rice) with only palm oil. “Ay, God, save me from this kind of life!” she wailed.

Since the paralysis of her hand and left leg, she has been relying on pharmaceutical drugs and herbal liquids for ‘cure’.

“I’m using tablets because I don’t have money for a hospital,” she replied to this writer’s question about her choice of tablets, most of which are ‘expired’, ‘fake’, or ‘substandard’ as often reported by the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (LMHRA)–and regularly warning members of the public against buying the ones sold in plastic containers.

One of Ms. Gray’s female friends, during a solidarity visit by a group of women, narrated to her Stroke-disabled host the humanitarian gestures of Hon. Solomon George towards dozens of individuals and families (residents of District 7)

“Representative Solomon George has helped me with my children’s school fees and has helped many other people who had met him at his home or at his office in Capitol Building on their various problems. If you meet him, he will help you, especially with your Pressure situation,” the guest explained.

“I know Representative Solomon George enjoys helping people. I’m personally aware of his giving food and money to West Pointers whose houses were destroyed by sea erosion. But I can’t walk to personally meet him. Please help me by narrating my conditions to him. I want to quickly go to the hospital. I urgently need food,” the Pressure-crippled woman responded.

Ms. Gray’s children’s father, the fisherman of West Point, has mysteriously disappeared from the couple’s home in West Point and his whereabouts are unknown.

Their romantic relationship produced four children–two males and two females.

The first child, a female, age 21, has left her parents’ home and now living with her two children’s father, in a charcoal business, in Margibi County. The third child, a male, has run from home on ‘daily hunger’ in the home and now surviving on various menial jobs–pulling a fishing net from the sea with fishermen on West Point’s beach, collecting garbage from people’s houses, transporting water in 20-liter gallons from Wells to people’s houses for cooking and washing. Some of his mother’s friends often report to her about seeing in the midst drugs sellers or consumers in some of the dozens of ghettoes that litter West Point’s beach sides and between houses. Such news exacerbates the mother’s emotional pains caused by her current cardiovascular (Pressure/Stroke) state.

“Ay, God, protect my child for me!” to respond to one of the reports from a friend who had seen the boy.

Only the fourth child, male, age 9, is living with her and helping with house chores–fetching cooking or washing water from public Wells over 20 meters away, washing food bowls, etc.

Ms. Fatu Gray has many biological siblings, one in the Liberia National Police (LNP) However, each person is carrying a huge personal ‘family’s support’ burden, so is unable to give financial support to her partially disabled sisters urgently need.

“Ay, Representative Solomon Gray, please help me with hospital business and food! Other Good Samaritans, please help me!” the Stroke-paralyzed single mother said, wailing, during her meeting with the body of friends when one of them advised her to meet the Representative of Electoral District# 7 of Montserrado County.

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