~Relatives claim that Dr. Luc Mercelina declared their relative as a vegetable prematurely.~
PHILIPSBURG:— Relatives of Ramon Gumbs are at their wits ends now that the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) management has decided that their disabled relative can no longer be housed at the country’s hospital.
Larissa Brooks, sister of Ramon Gumbs said that her brother was stabbed multiple times while incarcerated at the Pointe Blanche prison. Ever the incident she said her brother has been hospitalized both on St. Maarten and the Dominican Republic.
Ms. Brooks said that her brother was injured while in government’s care and government has to take full responsibility for her disabled brother since the family does not have a place for him to live since her home was destroyed by hurricane Irma. “My brother was stabbed multiple times on February 14th, 2017 while at the Pointe Blanche prison and it is my opinion that the government of St. Maarten is fully responsible for him, they have to provide a home and all other needs including medical care. When my brother was arrested he was a healthy man and today government wants to burden the family that is basically homeless with a disabled person.”
Brooks said her brother returned to St. Maarten on April 3rd, 2017 and it was then doctor Luc Mercelina told the family that Gumbs would no longer be able to do anything for himself and that he would remain a vegetable. She said that with determination the family decided that they would take care of Gumbs even though he was hospitalized. She said the family fed Gumbs and they started to do some form of therapy with him even though they are not medically trained for that. Brooks further explained that doctors and staff at SMMC were surprised when they saw the progress Gumbs made and the family then requested that an MRI be done on Gumbs’ head and it was then they discovered that Gumbs had fluid in the skull and was sent back to the Dominican Republic for it to be drained. Brooks said that her brother went to the Dominican Republic in August 2017 and returned late September 2017 with a pump in his head to drain the fluid.
The young woman said that the doctors in the Dominican Republic made clear that Gumbs has to receive therapy in order for him to regain his health. She said ever since Gumbs returned he has not received not one day of therapy and even though Dr. Merclina declared him as a vegetable her brother is now able to get on his wheelchair, he is able to feed himself and help himself in many ways. Ms. Brooks said if her brother was receiving the much-needed therapy he would have been walking by now because with their help he is what he is today. The young woman said that the former Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman promised to assist her brother financially should they find an apartment for him, however, the family said they did everything humanly possible even writing letters to the Minister of Health and Social Affairs Emil Lee and to date Lee has not responded to their desperate plea for a meeting. Brooks said that the current Interim Government is telling them they have no knowledge of her brother’s case even though the former Minister of Justice made several verbal promises to them.
Ms. Brooks further explained that her brother is not receiving proper care at SMMC she said her brother was in a room and the nurses would not respond to him when he calls them, they said many times they would find Gumbs with vomit on his clothing and when they would ask the nurses their excuses is the bell in the room was not working, all of this they said they wrote to Minister Lee and up to this day they have not received a phone call or any other form of response from Lee.
Brooks further explained that the White and Yellow Cross claim they do not have a place for Gumbs and that they have a long list of people waiting for space. She said the family even asked for Gumbs to be transferred to Curacao where he could get the care he needs in order for him to walk again but to date, nothing was done by SMMC or SZV for Gumbs to leave St. Maarten.
The family said even Gumbs medical card will soon expire and SZV and SMMC are still debating who is responsible for Gumbs now that he has already served his prison sentence.
The other family members also expressed their disgust at some of the things they witnessed at the SMMC while visiting Gumbs one incident that is still vivid is when the late Jacques Monsanto was refused admittance at SMMC even though he was bleeding profusely while being wheeled out from SMMC by his wife.
Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/28371-exclusive-disabled-patient-facing-eviction-from-smmc.html