A day after a frail and malnourished 76-year-old Harriet Codrington was removed from her house in Massiah Street, St John by officials of the National Assistance Board (NAB), her great niece has opened up about the “terrible situation” which the elderly woman faced on a daily basis.
Nikita Codrington, 23, who shared the house with Codrington and the blind woman’s caregiver, told Barbados TODAY she had been trying for a long time to get the septuagenarian out of the house because of the less-than-ideal conditions she was being forced to endure.
The young woman said she had approached several Government institutions seeking help, but after seemingly running out of luck and out of options, she had become frustrated and had given up hope.
In fact, she said she was planning “to just try to get from the house and take my aunt with me”.
“I take pictures; I had to hide and feed her. I try really hard and after a while I was giving up. But something tell me don’t give up; just keep praying because that is all my aunt used to do.
“She would keep telling me don’t worry my head about it, don’t call the police, don’t do nothing, just pray and God will help her,” Nikita recalled.
The elderly Codrington was removed from her home and relocated to the Geriatric Hospital Tuesday, just over a month after the NAB determined that there was no evidence she was being abused.
Back then a team led by NAB Chairman Senator David Durant visited the home after residents had complained that Codrington was being abused by her caretaker, who denied the claim at the time.
A subsequent examination by NAB registered nurse Esther Bend revealed no evidence of abuse and no signs of bedsores or bruises, therefore the team decided the woman would be left in the household, with the promise that the situation would be closely monitored.
When the team visited Tuesday they had to call in the police to help them gain entry, and they later found Codrington home alone, with signs of malnourishment, Durant revealed.
Barbados TODAY understands NAB officials moved after repeated unsuccessful attempts by their appointed caregivers to enter the house.
“It so happens that my neighbours speak out and say that ‘yes she getting abused, take the woman from there’ and Pastor Durant get more information and realize my aunt needs to leave from there. And now, thankfully, she is here.” Nikita told Barbados TODAY from the Geriatric Hospital, where she was visiting her great aunt who was said to be resting comfortably today.
“She seems very comfortable and happy when I spoke to her just now. She feels real good. She told me that she get food and she get eye drops in her eyes and the doctor give her pills and she take them.
“She ain’t making no fuss or nothing, she just comfortable. I had to hold back the tears yesterday, because I was so happy. But my aunt was even happier,” she explained.
A clearly relieved Nikita, who said “it was a hard journey trying to get her from in that house”, said other relatives were also pleased with the move since they would now be able to visit Codrington.
“My family gine come, they couldn’t come to the house although everybody grow up around that house. My cousin that I call my aunt already came and brought some stuff for her. My other aunt will come tomorrow and I am coming back Saturday. So all of us plan to visit her a lot because she helped raising everybody,” she said.