By Lesroy W. Williams Observer Reporter
” (Basseterre, St. Kitts)”A double-leg amputee was all smiles upon the reception of a state of the art mobility chair at a handing over ceremony at Government Headquarters on Church Street, Basseterre, on August 22. “In the spirit of our 25th anniversary of Independence celebration, I am pleased to be able to present this automatic go-chair to you, Jeida,” the Hon. Cedric Liburd said.” Jeida Mitcham, 28, a single mother of six who resides at College Street in Basseterre, suffered an unfortunate accident on August 6, 2005. While plaiting a lady’s hair in College Street Ghaut, she was struck by a motor vehicle which left her amputated from the knees downward. For three years, Jeida has been wheelchair-bound, but through it all she has borne her tragedy with equanimity. She continues to fend for her six children, the latest child born on August 7 of this year, one day after the anniversary of her accident. She is self-employed, braiding and plaiting hair to make ends meet. The Hon. Cedric Liburd, Parliamentary Representative for Constituency #8, of which Jeida is a part, lauded Jeida for her determination and perseverance in braving the challenges of life despite her situation. “Life is unpredictable and uncertain,” Mr. Liburd said in referring to Jeida’s incident. I have known Jeida for about 15 years dating back to when she used to live in Lower Cayon and I was Parliamentary Representative there, Mr. Liburd said. Mr. Liburd mentioned that since Jeida’s accident over three years ago, she has received help and support from several persons in the society to whom she has been grateful. Because of Jeida’s tenacity, her positive outlook on life, and her efforts to be independent despite her disability, Mr. Liburd said that he was particularly moved to help her as one of his constituents. It is in that vein that he sought financial assistance to purchase an automatic wheelchair for Jeida. The state of the art mobility chair, costing some CAD$ 2500, which Jeida received, was made possible through John Allen, an Honorary Consul in Canada and Eustace Guishard from St.Kitts who were able to get a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The Marriott Hotel facilitated the shipping of the wheelchair to St.Kitts. The mobility chair is equipped with a speed dial control, a multifunctional joystick and a safety horn. “This donation cannot in any way replace what has been taken away from you but it will aid you in your mobility and will facilitate you in your efforts to work to support yourself and your family and I invite the general public to continue to lend any support to you at this time,” Mr. Liburd ended by saying.