LEENA Lemessy, the grandmother of this country’s latest triplets, does not like the treatment meted out to the newborns saying other people who have had multiple births received assistance.
"It is as though the authorities did not recognise them or think about them as triplets. It costs $165 for a tin of milk which lasts three days. God gave us them and this is a blessing. He never sends a mouth without bread and they will live. God is good and he will provide for them. They should be getting some type of help," Lemessy told Newsday.
The grandmother of 14 is helping her son Dale and his wife Daina to take care of the triplets at her home at Icacos, Cedros. The identical triplets— Daniya, Dariya, and Diara— were born on August 21 at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH).
Lemessy said: "I see people make twins and triplet and get milk and pampers for a year. It is only friends and family who are helping us. The hospital did give them hamper and that was it, nothing from anyone else."
The couple who lives in the community has three other children ages 11, seven and two. Dale, the breadwinner, was retrenched from a company because of the closure of Petrotrin. His mother, speaking next to Daina, 29, said he had not been paid any severance. Lemessy said her son was searching for work to care for his family.
The newborns must go to SFGH every week for check ups. Lemessy said relatives were "taking chances" to transport the newborns as they did not have baby car seats.
"If we have to put pennies in a pan, we will get their car seats. These children do not have things like cribs and strollers either. We are not begging but we need help. The parents are not working, and the grandparents are not working either. We are trying to make both ends meet."
Daina was not as vocal as her mother-in-law but said the newborns have been keeping them very busy.
The mother of six said: "Most of the time two would wake up together then the other. They are small but have us very busy. These are the first triplets in the family. There are twins on both side of the families."
She said about two weeks ago, she filled out and submitted documents to the Social Welfare Division and up to yesterday had not received feedback from officials.