I want my bionic legs!

60-y-o fi­nally to get birth cer­tifi­cate and wants Bri­tish visa next

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ja­[email protected]­erjm.com

‘I am 60 years old, and I don’t know my fa­ther. I have never seen my fa­ther. He told my mother that he was go­ing to pick up some­thing, but he was re­ally leav­ing Ja­maica.’

AN­GELLA ALLEN is among a number of se­nior ci­ti­zens in Ja­maica who have never re­ceived a birth cer­tifi­cate for some rea­son or an­other.

Her hope right now is to get that im­por­tant piece of doc­u­ment in or­der to ap­ply for a pass­port and a Bri­tish visa, with the hope of trav­el­ling to that coun­try to seek a pair of pros­thetic legs. Allen lost her legs to di­a­betes a few years ago.

Her dream is now pos­si­ble now that Allen has suc­cess­fully ap­plied for her birth cer­tifi­cate. She was granted the op­por­tu­nity by teams from the Na­tional Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem and the Regis­trar Gen­eral’s Depart­ment dur­ing a re­cep­tion and birth-regis­tra­tion ses­sion at the Of­fice of The Prime Min­is­ter in St An­drew on Thurs­day. The oc­ca­sion also served as a treat for se­nior ci­ti­zens.

‘IT IS EM­BAR­RASS­ING’

Allen said that she can’t wait to hold her birth cer­tifi­cate be­cause she has had enough of the em­bar­rass­ment caused by not hav­ing the doc­u­ment.

“Nuff places I don’t bother to go be­cause I don’t have a birth pa­per. It is em­bar­rass­ing not hav­ing it be­cause they turn you back from some places when you don’t have it. I have wanted for some­body to help me to go to Eng­land, but not hav­ing a birth pa­per, you can’t get a pass­port. I think all the while about it. Up to ear­lier this week I was think­ing that I need a birth pa­per so I can go to Eng­land. I have a son liv­ing in Eng­land. He is around 40 now. I would re­ally like to travel so I can get the bionic feet,” she told The Gleaner.

“Go­ing to Eng­land would be a great plea­sure to me, and the cost, I think, would be much cheaper than out here. Both legs cost around $700,000. I lost my feet to di­a­betes. One of them I lost in 2014 and the other in 2017. In 2017, I also had a heart at­tack. I could have died, but God saved me.”

WALKS ON KNEES

Point­ing to her knees, she shared: “I walk on my knees, inuh. Some­body bought th­ese knee pads for me.”

Allen ex­plained that her fa­ther aban­doned her and her mother when she was just a baby and that that contributed in some way to her never get­ting a birth cer­tifi­cate.

“I am 60 years old, and I don’t know my fa­ther. I have never seen my fa­ther. He told my mother that he was go­ing to pick up some­thing, but he was re­ally leav­ing Ja­maica. I never see him yet. Know­ing that I didn’t have a fa­ther trou­bled me some­times. I even called Suzanne Show for help,” she said.

Regis­trar Gen­eral and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Regis­trar Gen­eral’s Depart­ment Deirdre English Gosse told The Gleaner that it is im­por­tant for ci­ti­zens like Allen to have birth cer­tifi­cates so that they don’t “lose out. It is the first piece of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for any­one”.

IAN ALLEN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Sixty-year-old An­gella Allen is get­ting her birth cer­tifi­cate at last. She is hop­ing to travel to Eng­land to get a pair of pros­thetic legs.

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