By Davina RamdassSunita Vandyke, who died six days after removing her eye at the Suddie Hospital in Region Two, has died, leaving six children behind for relatives to care for, something that has become a major challenge.Phyllis Carter with two of her grandchildren that she cares forFive-month-old Rebecca ThorneThe now dead woman’s mother-in-law, 59-year-old Phyllis Carter of Parika, East Bank Essequibo, recently reached out to this publication to share her story. Carter has been taking care of Vandyke’s two small children since her passing.According to her, after her daughter-in-law died, her relatives also took custody of the other children.She said her son, 32-year-old Brian Oswald, is self-employed and makes television antennas for a living and does not want his baby to be taken away from him, as the child is one of the only memories he has of his late wife.Although the man loves his daughter dearly, he is afraid that he may not be able to take care of her, his mother said, as his earnings are hardly enough to feed himself at the end of the day.The worried grandmother said it is hard to look at her son every day, fighting to earn a daily bread, as his business has been really slow over the past few months.Carter, who is unemployed at this point, said her husband, 70-year-old Raymond Carter, depends on his pension to sustain the family. She said the pensioner would usually take up “day works” around the community, but has been unable to do so due to his health deteriorating.She said that her husband’s monthly allowance is hardly able to feed everyone in the house since most of it goes towards paying bills.She, however, noted, as she hid her tears behind her voice, that it has not only been financially challenging for the family, but physically as well.According to her, she wakes up several times during the night with the little baby, who appears to be looking for her mom. In fact, Carter said that the now dead woman’s other children sometimes even ask where she is.The family is now seeking assistance from the public to be able to care for the little children. Carter said the family is willing to accept clothing for the children, food stocks and even financial assistance. Persons who would like to make a donation to the family can do so by contacting the widower’s mother on cellphone number 687-7302.The mother of six, Sunita Vandyke died in May at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) two days after being referred there from the Leonora Hospital in Region Three because of the severity of her condition.The young mother had been admitted at the Suddie Hospital on the Essequibo Coast in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) for several weeks, after doctors at the Georgetown Public Hospital had removed one of her eyes without any proper explanation, although she had never had any medical complication with her eye.She had been taken to the Parika Health Centre, where the nurses had administered saline. After receiving the saline, she had started complaining of blurred vision.She explained that after her daughter-in-law had continued to complain about having blurred vision, she had taken her to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, from where doctors had transferred her to the West Demerara Regional Hospital.However, she had taken Vandyke to the GPHC after the eye problem had worsened and Vandyke’s condition had deteriorated. “We meet GPHC Emergency (Department) with the eye draining inflammation and the nose bleeding, and they said, ‘That’s not an emergency’. And we waited several hours and were sent away without seeing a doctor.“I even went to the boss upstairs to complain that we were not getting to see a doctor, and still we could [not] get help; we were sent away,” Carter said.The woman’s health condition had gotten worse, to the point where she had been unable to walk, and had stopped speaking. Since the incident, she had been in and out of hospital, and had been unable to care for her newborn.
Story Highlights Mr. Holness expressed hope that the Jamaica International Chess Festival will spark a general interest among the population to raise up the next generation of great players. Addressing the official launch of the three-day Jamaica International Chess Festival, at a cocktail reception held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston on October 13, Mr. Holness noted that chess “ (can be) an alternative pathway to success that Jamaicans can venture into”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness has declared his full support for chess in Jamaica because of its role in the development of the mind and the encouragement of strategic thinking. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness has declared his full support for chess in Jamaica because of its role in the development of the mind and the encouragement of strategic thinking.Addressing the official launch of the three-day Jamaica International Chess Festival, at a cocktail reception held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston on October 13, Mr. Holness noted that chess “ (can be) an alternative pathway to success that Jamaicans can venture into”.“It is a great game to teach patience and respect. Chess is a catalyst for social development in communities that are underserved. We need to give these alternative pathways to the youngsters in our communities so that they know there are other ways to success,” he said.Mr. Holness expressed hope that the Jamaica International Chess Festival will spark a general interest among the population to raise up the next generation of great players.The Prime Minister, who once coached and played chess while at his alma mater, St. Catherine High School, also expressed gratitude to and pleasure at the young and international chess grandmasters for travelling to Jamaica to teach the sport to other children.He hailed, Ambassador Dr. Nigel Clarke and Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, Co-chairs and Executive Producers of the Inaugural Jamaica International Chess Festival for their role in staging the event.In his remarks, Ambassador, Dr. Nigel Clarke said chess “is a tool of solid upliftment that can be used to make good decisions”.He said the three-day event, which culminates today (October 15) is aimed at catalysing interest in the game among young Jamaicans, as well as broadening the reach of chess in the country.Additionally, he said it will “motivate and stimulate” existing local players to higher levels of achievement.Grandmaster, Maurice Ashley, who is Jamaican born, expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for his support of the game, declaring that “Jamaica can be great at chess”.Woman Grandmaster and Canadian Women’s Champion, 17-year-old Qiyu Zhou said she wants to inspire the children of Jamaica to play chess and “start or continue to pursue whatever they want to achieve”.For his part, Attorney-at-Law and President of the Jamaica Chess Federation, Ian Wilkinson said the staging of the international festival is a culmination of a dream. He On the final day (October 15), at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, teams battled for supremacy in a four round rapid game.The teams consisted of the Woman Grandmaster and Woman International Master as well as the country’s National Age Group and CARIFTA Champions.