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Grieving dad begs for help
Grieving over the loss of his 12-year-old son Krist Deolal, who died from a tumour in his lung, Samlal Deolal is appealing to the public to help him provide a better life for his four remaining children by renovating their dilapidated home.
The family has been living in a two-room plyboard house which Deolal built 11 years ago at Salazar Trace, Point Fortin.
Apart from two beds and a broken-down couch, they have no furniture or appliances. They cook on a two-burner tabletop stove and hang their clothes to dry on a line outside. There is no wardrobe or chest of drawers, so clothing is packed in cardboard boxes in every corner of the house.
Even though Deolal gets regular work at the Point Fortin Regional Corporation, his salary is barely enough to take care of his family.
“By the time I clear my loan and buy a little groceries we have no money left,” Deolal said. It was because of this that Deolal could not take his son to the doctor when he first fell ill.
Deolal said his eldest daughter Priya, 16, attends Point Fortin College while sister Karina, 13, wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment exams and passed for the Cedros Composite school.
Another son, Nigel, 15, attends Cedros Composite while the eldest son Naresh, 18, works part-time at a tent rental company.
Naresh uses his meagre income to assist his family but it is still not enough for school books, uniforms, and food.
Deolal said every year, he refinanced his loan.
“It is the only way I can afford their books. I want them all to get a good education,” he said.
They also plant short-term crops to supplement Deolal’s income but grazing cattle often trampled their crops.
Since the Guardian highlighted Krist’s death, the family has faced public ridicule over why they did not take him to the doctor sooner. Deolal said it was customary for them to fight the flu on their own.
He said he gave his son medication and orange juice and he eventually started to feel better. Last Friday morning at about 2 am, Krist began gasping for breath. The family called a relative to carry Krist to the San Fernando General Hospital but he took his last breath just as they reached the Accident and Emergency Department.
Deolal said losing his son was the hardest thing he has ever dealt with.
“It makes me want to protect the rest of my children and to give them the life they deserve. I am really trying but we need some help,” Deolal said.
He also called on the Ministry of Social Development to offer counselling to his wife Parbati and their daughters who are severely traumatised following Krist’s death. Karina has been experiencing fainting spells.
Anyone wanting to assist Deolal can contact him at 324-4429.
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