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Burkie prays for Marlene

Published: 
Friday, July 13, 2018

Sea Lots community leader Cedric “Burkie” Burke and contractor Kenroy Dopwell yesterday prayed for the speedy recovery of their Port-of-Spain South MP Marlene McDonald, describing her as a mother to their community.

Both men stated they were saddened by McDonald’s deteriorating health and would continue to ask God to deliver her from her sickness.

“On behalf of the community I would like to extend a speedy recover to our MP. I hope she gets over whatever is her illness. We are still unclear what she is suffering. All we have been asking God is to return her to good health,” Burke said.

This is the second time McDonald has been hospitalised in weeks.

In June, McDonald fell ill during a Cabinet meeting and was discharged after being treated for low blood pressure.

Burke said when Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced on Tuesday that McDonald was “seriously ill” he became gravely concerned.

But on Wednesday Burke said his fears worsened when the Communications Ministry stated that the PM was awaiting confirmation on the full nature of McDonald’s illness.

Only hours before, a press release from Mc Donald’s constituency office assistant Sharon Felix stated McDonald had been discharged from the St Clair Medical Centre where she had been admitted since Saturday for an existing medical condition.

The statements from the constituency office and ministry led to conflicting reports.

As a result of her illness, Allyson West has been appointed to act as Public Administration Minister.

“It’s worrying to the whole community because everybody knows she is well loved and supported in here. Marlene has done a lot for us. We are all saddened by the news because the last time we saw her she was in good health.”

Burke said he would not visit McDonald at the hospital, but would send her flowers.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her,” Burke said.

Kenroy Dopwell, a contractor and Burke’s neighbour said the situation that has befallen McDonald was unfortunate.

“The best we can do is send her text messages and pray for her. We tried calling her on her cellphone but got no respond. This is not like Marlene. She would normally answer.”

In July 2017, Rowley fired McDonald hours after she affirmed the oath as Public Utilities Minister when Burke and Dopwell turned up at her swearing in ceremony at President’s House.

Burke was held during the 2011 state of emergency and charged with being a gang leader. The charges were eventually dropped.

“It’s something worrying. She’s a mother to us…a mother to the community. We are lost for words. We were not expecting to hear such disturbing news.”

Last Sunday, Dopwell said constituents prayed for McDonald’s health to improve during a service at the community’s Open Bible Church.

“We have been praying for her constantly.”

He said the 11 years McDonald has been representing the community, much was achieved.

In a discussion with constituents yesterday, Dopwell said they made jokes about the Public Administration Ministry being jinx.

“First Maxie Cuffie fell ill and he still outside seeking medical attention. And look! weeks after Marlene was appointed to the ministry she fall sick too. We were asking if the ministry blight or something,”Dopwell said.

Calls to Felix’s cellphones went straight to voice mail.

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