‘We are citizens, too’ - Blind man begs Government to fix broken sidewalks
Neil Reid, the blind man who narrowly escaped serious injuries or even death after he fell into a hole in a sidewalk in Kingston, has appealed to the Government to address the 'death traps' on public pavements.
Reid, 52, is contemplating bringing legal actions against the Government as a result of the latest mishap. He told THE STAR that he has had enough of the falls, and is adamant that the incident, which took place at the intersection of Homestead Drive and Windward Road, should be the last time anyone is hurt due to the failure to maintain the public space.
"A whole heap a time mi drop inna hole enuh. Mi drop inna one a Half-Way Tree [St Andrew] when dem did tief off the manhole cover. ... There is this one in Woodford Park weh mi drop inna years ago, and all now mi side and back a hurt mi bad same way," Reid said.
"So imagine every time mi drop a new pain add to it, and a my pocket alone it cost fi get meds, but mi have to live with the pain," Reid said.
Member of Parliament for Kingston Eastern and Port Royal Phillip Paulwell, in whose constituency the Windward Road broken corridor is located, said he has made representation on numerous occasions for it to be fixed, but his calls have fallen on deaf ears. He told THE STAR that he is prepared to sue the State on Reid's behalf if the blind man contacts his office.
Recalling the frightening fall, which took place last month, Reid said he was on his way to the barbershop when he fell into one of two holes in the pavement. He had to be assisted to his feet by passers-by.
"Mi a walk and mi know mi pass the first hole weh deh little up further, and know say there is a next one further out, but I didn't know about the one I fell in. Mi a walk and mi just feel when mi drop in and mi lick mi face, head, foot and hand. A mi left hand get the most lick, and swell up and start hurt mi same time," the blind man said.
According to Reid, he had to seek medical attention, and despite being prescribed medication, he had to remain at home for several days as the pain was unbearable. Fearful of falling in holes when he traverses the public space, Reid has made a passionate appeal for the Government to address the problem of broken sidewalks.
"Mi a beg dem fi just cover the hole dem or fix dem, because it dangerous to mi and other people who blind," Reid said.
"We are citizens of this country, too, and there are a lot of issues we face out there a daytime as blind people. Nuff a di sidewalk dem waah fix, suh sometimes we have to walk in the road, and dat dangerous, man," the blind man added.