Help Nathan Pierre

Nathan Pierre at his Upper Trou Macaque Road, Laventille home on April 5. - Photo by Roger Jacob
Nathan Pierre at his Upper Trou Macaque Road, Laventille home on April 5. - Photo by Roger Jacob

NATHAN Pierre, 32, is praying for a miracle.

An unlucky accidental victim of a shooting in December 2023, he has been left paralysed and unable to afford a wheelchair.

Every time he needs to leave his house – accessible only by means of a steep dirt track – he must enlist the help of neighbours.

A potential witness in the shooting, which left two people dead and for which a policeman has since been charged, he is not sure what to expect.

His nights are sleepless. He is in constant pain.

“This mash up my life,” the former plumber told this newspaper last week. “I was always at it, working, because I had my family to see about. Now, I can’t.”

Mr Pierre is pleading for help from the public. But he should not have to.

The Trou Macaque resident’s case highlights the glaring failures of the police, the state-run social safety net, government ministries, individual MPs and local government councillors to provide, in a timely manner, the most basic care.

With its eerie echoes of the case of Ryan Rampersad, a Sea Lots resident left paralysed after an incident also involving a police officer in 2013, this matter is also a sign that state entities are not improving when it comes to serving the people.

In fact, because of rising levels of crime, more people like Mr Pierre are becoming collateral damage and slipping through the cracks.

Officials, citing economic constraints or fearing the opening of floodgates, often claim to be unable to intervene in each and every case.

But Mr Pierre’s story plainly merits special intervention.

A week before Christmas, he was minding his own business, shopping for a bed for his stepdaughter when his life, while not taken, was upended. At the wrong place at the wrong time, he saw a group of people in the carpark arguing, but ignored them and moved on. Moments later, there were several gunshots, after which he could no longer walk.

The next day, doctors told him he would never walk again.

Sadly, this could have been any citizen of this country.

The police Victim and Witness Support Unit has reportedly not followed up on an offer to help Mr Pierre access therapy. His application for a disability grant in January is still pending. Some political operatives have sent hampers but told him – without irony – to approach the Self-Help Commission. The Housing Development Corporation, with an ostensible mandate to assist the vulnerable, is probably too overburdened or simply unable legally to intervene.

In a country with billions in oil and gas revenue, none of this should be.

It should not take a miracle for Mr Pierre to get the help he needs.


"Help Nathan Pierre"

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