General — 20 December 2011 — by Janine I. Crawford
What happens when you are old, sick, and your family does not want you?
An elderly man, in his 70’s, experienced the trauma of neglect, and died in the process.
About two months ago, an elderly resident of Belize City reportedly was put in a bus along with a box of groceries, a kit bag of clothes, an old, rusty machete and a pair of rubber boots, and sent to Bomba, a village on the Old Northern Highway.
The man died on Wednesday, December 14, at around 7:00 a.m. while in the care of Bernice Madrill, 47, a wood carver of Maskall Village, Belize District, and her daughter, Felicia Madrill, 16, who had taken in and cared for him after they found him alone outside “La Golondrina Club” in Maskall Village,.
Bernice Madrill explained to Amandala today that when she saw the elderly man, he appeared frail and sick. He was on his way to Bomba, he said, but the bus only went as far as Maskall. For Bomba, he would have to take another bus, or vehicle.
The septuagenarian was no stranger to Madrill; she told us that in Maskall, he was well known, for he had been a hunter there in his days.
Madrill said she asked him where he was going, and he replied that he was sent to go to his home in Bomba. He then asked Madrill if he could stay at her home for two days, then he would continue his journey.
But Madrill, seeing his desolate state, took him in not for two days, but indefinitely. Madrill told him that he was just in too much pain to continue his journey.
When the news of his stay in Madrill’s home began to spreading quickly, many of the villagers who had known him, visited him. He was also assisted by nurses and a doctor.
According to Madrill, his passing is really painful given the circumstances in which he died. Madrill said that when he was dying, she asked him what he wanted her to tell his daughter on his behalf.
The elderly man, she said, answered, “Nothing.”
Madrill said she has since handed over the death certificate to the family.
She also said that a strong message can be learned from this, which is to love your father when he is alive, and not when he is dead.
The elderly man, she said she later was told, was suffering from cancer when he died.