UPDATE: December 13, 2008 October 24, 2009
Does Anyone Know What Happened To Stephen Grant?
Ten months ago, Twenty months ago, Barbados Underground, The Nation and Barbados Free Press covered the story of Stephen Grant – a young man with a curable disease called cellulitis. But Stephen was not being taken care of and was not receiving the drugs and treatment that could cure him.
Okay… it is now ten twenty months and two Health Ministers later. Has the Democratic Labour Party government looked after Stephen Grant any better than the BLP government (which did nothing for him).
Well? Does anyone know? Perhaps some of our DLP supporters can give us an accurate status report…
A Barbados News Story Reminds Me Of The Saddest Place I’ve Ever Been
The approach to Runway 19 Left at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, India sometimes brings you over the Hooghly River. If you have the luxury of being a passenger or of sitting in the jump seat you can take the time to look down upon some of the most depressing slums in all the world including Howrah of “City Of Joy” fame.
A few years ago, Calcutta (the tenth largest city in the world) changed its name to “Kolkata” in a move of ethnic cultural supremacy that is still hotly debated in the city and throughout India. Only eight years ago I was stuck at the airport for two days waiting because the fuel bowser crew and the fuel depot crew (who were ethnic Bengalis) weren’t speaking to each other over the name change.
But whatever the ruling party decided and thought they achieved with the name change, the world still says “Calcutta” and probably will for the next hundred years.
In the minds of those who have been there, even for only a day or two, the word “Calcutta” often brings on a feeling of despair at how we fail to look after our brothers and sisters who suffer from diseases that could easily be cured for a few dollars worth of medicine. It doesn’t matter how many National Geographic documentaries you’ve seen, you have no idea of the extent of the suffering that exists in this world until you have seen the reality of Calcutta.
But that is Calcutta, not my Barbados.
So why when I visited Barbados Underground this morning and read about a young man named Stephen Grant, did I immediately have a flashback to the time I spent in Calcutta?
Go over to Barbados Underground, and then to the article at the Nation News. I know little about medicine, but from what I have been able to research online, Stephen Grant has Celluitis – apparently a perfectly curable disease with modern medicines and proper care.
Why, here in “modern” Barbados – the playground of those who own Gulfstream jets and polo ponies – do we see the terrible plight of a nice young man like Stephen Grant? Why is he not in the hospital being administered antibiotics intravenously? (What do I know… I’m not a doctor.) Why does our hospital look like this? How is it that our country is BILLIONS in debt, yet thousands of our citizens lack clean, reliable water supplies?
People must be held to account for the waste, neglect and abuses of the past decade, and we can’t do everything for everybody – but all that aside, surely as a society we can scrape together what it will take to save Stephen Grant.
Barbados Underground: Stephen Grant’s Plea: Help! Help! Help!
Nation News: Walking On Hard Times
US National Library Of Medicine: Cellulitis