Cassies father fixes her nightgown during a hospital
visit on July 15, three days after the Frederick Street
blast in which she was injured.
Photo: Brian Ng Fatt
Blast victim Nicole Cassie still cannot feel her fingers,
exactly a month after the Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain,
She needs assistance cooking, cleaning and changing.
Her left leg, still supported with a bandage, swells if
she stands for too long or if her legs are down while sitting.
Although thankful for the small help her two children, aged
eight and 12, can offer, Cassie is eager to regain her independencephysically
The day of the blast, July 11, also marked her first day
at work as a data entry operator at the Ministry of Education.
Without her left hand, she cannot work.
Cassie said she filled out the appropriate forms to get
paid leave, but had yet to see a paycheque and did not know
the period for which she was entitled to paid leave.
She went to the clinic on Monday, when her doctor said she
might need a second surgery.
During her ten-day stay at hospital following the blast,
Cassie underwent surgery on her left hand, in which a piece
of metal was lodged.
dont know how devastated I was, she said about
hearing she might need another operation.
was hoping to start work in October.
Cassie is awaiting money from her mother or sister to purchase
her childrens school uniforms.
Doctors told her she cannot start physical therapy yet because
the bones in her hand are not fully healed.
In the meantime, Cassie was given prescriptions the last
four times she visited the clinic since she was released
from hospital on July 21.
Each time she has paid for the medication herself.
Cassie said she had received no word from the Ministry of
Health about possible assistance or compensation.
She said her last contact with the Government concerning
her medical condition after the blast was on July 12 when
the ministers of National Security and Education visited
her at Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
On Tuesday, Health Minister John Rahael said the ministry
would assist all blast victims with their medical expenses,
but was not assisting or even following up on patients to
find out if they need assistance besides Yvonne McIvor,
whose leg was amputated.
The ministry funded her stay at Seventh-day Adventist Hospital
in Cocorite, a motorised wheelchair, surgical bed, home
assistant and potentially, a prosthestic leg.
McIvor was discharged on Tuesday and returned to her home
which, her son Oster said, was a much more comfortable
Rahael added that victims seeking help would need to contact
the ministry on their own. He said they should call his
direct line, 623-2741.
Cassie was aware of the assistance the ministry had given
McIvor, but had been waiting to hear from the Government
need some help. Just for the kids.
Cassie said she would attempt to contact Rahael, but would
pass on his statement to her lawyer.
Meanwhile, Cassie is still scared to go near the first explosion
dont walk on Frederick Street. When I walk and I see
a bin you wont believe how frightened I get.
In response to yesterdays blast, Cassie said, I
had a feeling it would have happened again.
McIvors son Oster was not pleased with the news.
the Government has not made any headway at all with investigations
it means the responsible group, or person, he or she, is
still walking the streets free, he said.