IN NEED: Dan Singh, his wife Joyce Lall, centre, and their mentally and physically challenged daughter Shanti Lall, at their Hermitage Village, Debe, home yesterday. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

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Family pleads for help

Mom, dad and disabled daughter struggle to make ends meet

By Sue-Ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

AN ailing elderly couple, parents to a 40-year-old daughter who is mentally and physically challenged, are asking for additional financial assistance from the State.

All three family members, who live at Hermitage Village, Debe, have had their gall bladders removed at various times.

Father Dan Singh, 65, is diabetic and suffers with high blood pressure.

He cannot walk properly because all the toes on his right foot were amputated.

Mother Joyce Lall, 65, suffers with hypertension and gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux). She had several surgeries, including one to remove a hernia.

Lall said her daughter Shanti Lall had brain surgery when she was two months old which left her bedridden.

She said, "Since she was a baby, she has been in diapers. She cannot do anything for herself. We have to feed her and clean her and everything. The doctor said she was going to live for only one year again and now she is living for more than 40."

Lall said, "I have no problem taking care of her but I am not well enough to do so right now. I cannot lift up anything much."

The elderly woman said she visited the office of the Ministry of People and Social Development on several occasions asking for more help without success.

Lall and Singh both receive pensions.

Their daughter receives a disability grant but Lall said she was hoping she could get a wheelchair so that "Shanti could go outside and sit down a bit and relax."

"She is human too. Because we don't have a wheelchair for her, the child can't go anywhere. She just remains in her bed," Lall said.

She also said medication was very expensive and difficult for the family to afford.

Lall said she was hoping she would be able to obtain a TT Card given out by the ministry.

Contacted yesterday, Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, said a wheelchair would have been sent for the family promptly, and a social worker would assist the family, and assess their other needs.

Anyone also willing to assist can call 370-3639.

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