The plight of an injured father

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu and Nefertiti Matatia ,

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NEEDS HELP: Eneliko Tupa’i of Sale’imoa.

NEEDS HELP: Eneliko Tupa’i of Sale’imoa.

A 60-year-old father needs help. Eneliko Tupa’i, of Sale’imoa, cannot walk. 

He had stood on a nail and his failure to seek medical help early enough is the reason he is unable to walk. His foot was badly affected by an infection.

“Now I cannot work and it’s been like this for nine months,” he said. “My wife used to work but then she was laid off by Yazaki when they closed down and now we depend on our son who works in New Zealand. So no one works in our family.”

Mr. Tupa’i is grateful to his son and everything he does.

“We get money from him for our daily necessities but it’s not just for our food, we also have church and family obligations.” 

He told the Weekend Observer that he is longing for a pair of crutches. The family can also do with some financial help.

“That would be great help for me,” he said

 “It’s just me and my wife who live here; these other kids are here from Savai’i to help us clean up after the cyclone. 

“I would greatly appreciate assistance in terms of some food and I am in dire need of crutches. 

“I have a wheelchair, but I cannot use the wheelchair as you can see outside of my house towards the church, it is not feasible for a wheelchair, so I need crutches.” 

He also shared of their family struggles after Cyclone Gita.

“The roofing of our house was ripped off from the strong winds and luckily for us we stayed at our pastor’s house. 

“Due to the condition of my foot, I had to crawl to the pastor’s house. 

“Our wooden house is a two bedroom one with a kitchen and living room, but that was ripped apart by the cyclone. 

“Luckily my wife covered our suitcases, freezer, television and other appliances with a tarpaulin. 

“As you can see, we have moved into this small shack to await my son who will arrive next month to fix our house,” he said. 

Mr. Tupai said their plantation was also destroyed and so they now need to buy rice for their daily diet.

“If it wasn’t for my injured foot, I would be working the farm, but I stepped on a nail and instead of going to the hospital, I used herbs and this is the end result,” he said. 

“My foot got infected and now I am a stay-at-home dad.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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