Living in darkness in a rickety house with holes in the flooring and a leaking roof, a Princes Town mother of four is pleading for help.
What makes their situation even more heartbreaking is that the eldest of Cherryann Jackson’s four children cannot walk.
The 13-year-old girl was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis four years ago.
The illness is an inflammation in the joints that causes pain, swelling and stiffness.
Her parents cannot afford a wheelchair so they would lift and carry her around. Their living conditions, however, is making life even more difficult for her and her siblings, the youngest of whom is two years old.
They live in a one-bedroom plyboard structure that has no electricity and almost all the windows can’t close. The bottom part of the front door is missing.
“We (are) living here nine years now. We have no electricity, no proper road. We just need a lil assistance with our home,” she lamented.
Located in a bushy area off Hope Road First Branch, the area is usually pitch black at night.
“Well in the night as you see we have the lamps. We have to buy the pitch oil so we could get the light. Sometimes if we eh have no money we use candles.”
The walls and floor have gaping holes, the latter posing a safety hazard, particularly for the children.
“With the holes and thing in the flooring my daughter keeps going through so is be real hard. She is two-years-old.”
Jackson lives in fear that the house would collapse.
“Plenty of the posts shift. Sometimes when the rain falling and thing a lot of water coming in, through the roof sometimes through the sides and well you see there is no window there.”
Due to their financial circumstances, Jackson said they cannot afford a wheelchair. She quit her job as a sales clerk when her daughter got sick and her husband was only recently hired as a construction worker.
She receives a disability grant for her daughter, most of which goes towards the child’s medical bills, and she also depends on a food card.
Jackson said her daughter was being treated with a specific medication but the doctors stopped it because she was getting chest pains.
Recently, she said the doctors ordered another set of tests, which cost them $2,000 at a private institution because it was not available at the hospital.
Taking her to and from the house is also a task because they have to carry her on their backs through the track to the road to await transportation.
“When we have to tote her up when rain falls, especially when the place muddy, we have to clean our foot and thing it is real hard.”
She said it would cost them about $150 to hire a car to take her to the clinic.
Water is not a problem but the house is not fitted with any plumbing features. They have to fill buckets of water from the tank. The bathroom is outside and they use an outhouse.
Jackson is also worried that her nine-year-old son is missing out on his schoolwork.
“I don’t have electricity and is hard now especially with the school so I have to give my son work in the book without the Zoom classes. His teacher (is) really understanding. She sends it for me but he still missing out a lot.”
Jackson said she reached out to the state for assistance with a wheelchair, the National Commission for Self Help Limited for a home improvement grant and even the Princes Town Regional Corporation for an access road to their home, but she has received no help.
Despite their hardships, Jackson tries to make the children comfortable and happy.
“When the father get ah lil change I make it do to get whatever lil necessities they need,” she said.
Anyone willing to assist the family could contact them at 346-3940 or 782-2783.