Orville “Blacka” Cameron, a resident of Water Lane in Montego Bay is partially blind and is seeking assistance to do surgery.
Orville is a former employee of Wray and Nephew, who helped to hang up bunting banners, and set up lighting and other stage equipment.
Unfortunately, in 2004 he fell severely ill from an undisclosed illness. This illness started to affect his heart and kidney severely, which requires him to take 12 pills both day and night. Orville who lives alone says some of his friends and family abandoned him that same year.
However, in 2018 his medical condition got worse as he developed glaucoma in his right eye and a cataract in his left eye. This has resulted in him only being able to see shadows in the day and nothing in the night. Consequently, he lost his job the same year and he hasn’t been able to work since.
Since then his eyes conditions have started to affect him both physically and mentally.
As if matters couldn’t get worse he has been a victim of numerous hit-and-run cases and has hit into light polls while trying to navigate the street. Sometimes he has even taken the wrong pills or taken the same pill twice as his friend pointed out to him.
His mental state has caused him to have suicidal thoughts resulting in his Ophthalmologist from the Cornwall Regional Hospital recommending that he takes walks to clear his mind.
“I don’t really do anything because I can’t see. I’m getting stressed out and my doctors said when this happens I should just find something to do. So sometimes I would just walk, to free my mind. The doctor has stopped me from drinking but sometimes I beg my friends for a drink and it eases my brain for a while. But once the rum wears off the problem is there again”, he said.
He says he tries to get help from strangers, which poses a challenge, as people don’t treat him in a manner that he appreciates. As a result, he prefers not to ask. Sometimes while walking he’ll end up in places that he is unfamiliar with and he can only arrive home if people he knows help him.
But even though his life has been in turmoil, he has gotten some assistance from his friends who live on Water Lane, his former co-workers, and the Food For The Poor. Carter Anderson, a good friend of Orville, comes to his house almost every Sunday to give him food and other necessities.
Sheron Blagrove, a shop owner and resident of Water Lane says she sometimes helps him.
She says, “Sometimes when I’m going home once I have the money I’ll ask him if he eats and he says no. So I’ll give him money and he can make his way to get a box of food. In the morning my sister-in-law gives him money and food.”
However, she laments that the need to help him has become even more urgent because of the pandemic. The weekend lockdowns have caused her to limit the amount of help she can give to him but she still tries to help on those days.
She says that she hoped that he would receive help with his eyes as she would like to see him as happy as he was before he lost his sight.
Kevin “Oney” Johnson, a soup vendor and friend of Orville, also shares the same sentiments and hopes that his friend’s eyesight is restored. Mr. Johnson who is also visually impaired, says although he doesn’t have a lot he tries to share the little that he has.
“Once I cook I ensure he gets some to eat. Sometimes on the three days (lockdown) I would cook and take the risk of leaving my home to share with him. Remember we have to look out for him, even though I have one eye, we do everything we can do to help him,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, Orville is very happy that he gets help from his friends but remains adamant that his sight being restored is his biggest priority. He says once his sight is restored his life will be more comfortable as he can be independent once again.
His medication is currently being covered by doctors he knows and his former coworkers. He also benefits from the pharmacy at St. James Type 5 Health Centre through National Health Fund( NHF).
But there is a big challenge he was recommended by his ophthalmologist to the University of the West Indies Hospital in Kingston, to do a surgery costing $300,000 which he is unable to pay.
If anyone wishes to help Mr. Orville Cameron please contact him at (876)792-1091 or Carter Anderson at (876)564-6690 or Mckoy’s News at (876)772-2626. You can also donate to his scotia bank account #1012945.