Jamaica-born US official seeks help for ailing local cop
Lamenting the seriousness of Constable Donique Anderson's condition, head of the Jamaica Diaspora Crime Intervention and Prevention Task Force in Florida, Dr Rupert Francis, is calling for local power brokers to stop failing the young policewoman.
Anderson first came to the public's attention last November when she, alongside her mother Gem Donald, appealed in THE STAR for the public's help in paying for her liver transplant surgery. Since then Anderson, who is diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, has only raised US$12,000 (approximately J$1.8 million) of the US$1 million (approximately J$154 million) needed to pay for the surgery.
Francis, who is Jamaica-born, was first alerted of the young constable's condition in May when he was contacted to transport her from JFK International Airport in New York City to a facility in New Jersey where she was seeking further treatment.
He told THE STAR, "When I heard that she was not feeling well and I learned what was happening ... I saw the article and I read the situation, I said 'My gosh, they sent her here? So who is the connection?' And when I spoke to them there was no connection."
He continued, "First of all, I am a retired army officer and we have a thing in the army called welfare, so we look after our people and I am surprised to know that there is no such thing in the police force. I lost a daughter when she was 21 and that's what changed my life. I was going into law school but I changed and went into education instead, a part of what she wanted to do. So that [Anderson's story] just brought that back up. So I said I just had to help."
Currently, Anderson is in the US at the Newark University Hospital in New Jersey where she is being given palliative care as she continues to fight for her life.
"We're now in 'no-man's land' as we would call it in the military and I am just stunned," Francis said. "I called a friend of mine and I called my prayer warriors and we're praying for her but prayer has to come with works, especially in her case because you know what the problem is. So you have to try and find a way to fix it. I believe it can be done."
He added, "I honestly believe that if, for example, the commissioner of police or those people up there made an appeal to the ambassador of the United States that is a Jamaican, or the mayor of New York, I am positive they can say to them ,'Guys, we can do something'. This is an extraordinary case. We don't want to encourage people do this but this is extraordinary. Let's help, let's save this girl."