A retired Police Constable is appealing to the public to assist him in raising TT$40,000 to purchase a prosthetic leg.
Carl Maxima lost his right leg to complications due to diabetes in 2019.
In an interview at his Belmont home yesterday, Maxima said January 26 will mark four years since he lost his only daughter Carla and her two infant children in a tragic accident on the Priority Bus Route (PBR.)
Carla Maxima-Collins, 35, and her two sons — eight-month-old Kamari and Amani, 30-month-old, died on January 26, 2017, when the vehicle they were in was struck by a driver who broke the traffic lights on the PBR/Mausica intersection.
Maxima, now 69, still has trouble talking about their deaths, weeping at the mere mention of their names.
Maxima admitted that he turned to alcohol to cope with the loss. But that decision would cast a dark shadow over the rest of his life.
“After the death of my daughter and my two grandchildren, somehow or the other it broke me, I used to take my little drink but I started to drink harder, within that time I became a diabetic, I really wasn’t aware I was diabetic,” Maxima said.
In early 2019, Maxima attended and participated in a police football game. During that game, one of the players stepped on Maxima’s right foot. He said he did not pay any mind to the injury until he was in extreme pain.
But by then, it was too late. On July 24, 2019, Maxima’s right leg was amputated at the knee.
“The doctors said the gangrene had already progressed to my ankle so they had to cut it to the knee.”
Learning to live with one foot at 68 was not easy, Maxima said but he has been trying to cope with his grief and loneliness.
“I try to keep high spirits for myself but it’s been pressure for me, my life could never be how it was before. I believe I was so much of a favourite…but since I came out of the hospital, I don’t see that. You might hardly catch me outside, especially since the pandemic started, so I lie down inside, I have my word puzzles, read my Bible in between and I watch TV,” he said.
Maxima said he receives a pension and a gratuity from the T&T Police Service for his 33 years of service.
But he said this money can barely cover the cost of the medication he needs on a monthly basis.
“As simple as one set of tablets that will last me a month is $2,840 and that is only one, there is another I have to take every week is $1,200 and I could go on.”
He has also had to give up his two hobbies: football and gardening.
Maxima is appealing to anyone willing to assist him with raising the money to purchase the prosthetic.
“Having to raise $40,000 odd, I don’t know when I will reach there if I have to continue with the medical and this is why I stretch my hands out to see who could assist,” he said.
Some relatives have set up a Go-Fund-Me account for Maxima, with the title ‘Help Mr Maxima obtain his prosthetic leg.’