‘Greatest thing ever happen to us’
Support pours in for devoted Clarendon man caring for mom
Wayne Reid cut a glum, down-on-luck figure earlier this month as he despairingly got out of his bed to care for his ailing 76-year-old mom in the northern Clarendon district of Arthur Seat in Crofts Hill.
Now, he is overjoyed and giving thanks for the outpouring of love that followed the publication of his story in the paper on Wednesday, February 9.
“I can’t even express our feelings ‘cause is she feels so happy. She cried the other night to how everything a work out. She well happy yah now,” Reid said of his mom, Elmena O’Conner, who is ailing with angina, chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.
Reid’s heart-warming story of self-sacrifice – giving up his taxi driver job to offer round-the-clock care for O’Conner since 2009 – touched readers, who have offered aid in the completion of their under-construction home.
Among those whose compassion was triggered was Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who dispatched a representative from his Positive Jamaica Foundation last Friday.
Holness gifted Reid $90,000, lodged with the pharmacy, for O’Conner to cover medication costs, and $200,000 paid to a community hardware to supply building materials for the house.
Reid, who spoke with the prime minister on the phone, said he had to ask himself several times if he was really talking to the head of government.
He was not the only one who had doubts about the legitimacy of the cheque.
“Dem seh a fraud cheque you have ‘cause weh di prime minister fi know you from,” Reid, 42, said in a Gleaner interview on the weekend.
Reid also expressed gratitude to Romaine Rowe, founder of the One Connection charity group in Crofts Hill that is coordinating construction work on the house.
“Him a deal wid the t’ing like him a mi bredda. I love it,” said Reid.
Rowe, for his part, said he was so touched by the story when he saw it that he knew he had to help. He said he started getting calls from other members of the group – locally and internationally – so the decision was made to assist.
Initially, the plan was to complete construction of the bathroom, giving Reid his desire, but after visiting the site, he realised that more had to be done.
“We realised that we had to include a kitchen and that Mommy wants to look out sometimes, so we just added on a verandah on it also,” Rowe said, praising the One Connection members and other stakeholders who have come on board to ensure the project’s success.
Initiative Jamaica, the Kiwanis Club, Sarah’s Children, several pastors, as well as the police, have contributed to the project.
To give further assistance call (876) 808-7192.