Sixty-year-old Hazel Cadogan is in need of personal care and medical attention.
But most of all, she just wants her 45-year-old son, Terry, and his girlfriend out of her house.
The Princess Royal Avenue, Pine, St Michael woman, whose plight was made public first on social media, says she is the victim of abuse and that she has not been able to get medical attention because she is physically incapacitated.
But her son told Barbados TODAY that while he agrees his mother needs help, he does not intend to move out.
In the presence of Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Neil Rowe, who visited the home this morning to investigate Hazel’s plight, Terry, who declared he has never laid hands on his mother, said he was happy the matter was now in the public domain.
The mother told Barbados TODAY: “Them hitting me, starving me out inside of this house and wunna want to tell me that because nobody ain’t come to my assistance I supposed to let somebody put me in the [Psychiatric Hospital].
“I beg the doctors to put me in an abuse place and treat me for whatever. But there is no way I want to live in here with he and I am not going anywhere.”
Hazel Cadogan continued: “Wunna looking at what he want wunna to see, but he ain’t showing everything inside here. He ain’t showing you when he runch me. He ain’t showing you how he take off the gas bottle head. How am I going to eat if them starve me out inside here, I would have to beg.
“And it is wrong. I want them out of my home. If wunna feel like killing me after no problem, but get them out of this house. Get her out, she getting and brag how she does beat me.
“I can’t wash my clothes, I can’t use my microwave, it is wrong. And if wunna do anything other than what I ask wunna to do, wunna just as wicked . . . Terry can’t control me. This is inhumane and taking away my dignity.”
Yesterday afternoon, ordained minister Sandra Singh posted a video on her Facebook page highlighting Cadogan’s plight.
Singh wrote that she met her sitting at her door yesterday.
The pastor said Hazel wanted to give her $15 to buy groceries but she refused it and went and bought her some necessary groceries with her own money.
Singh’s social media SOS read: “Her nails are long like claws, her feet like crocodile skin, her hair hasn’t been washed since 2013, and she is living in squalor. Help needed in every area of her being, body, mind, soul and spirit.”
In a video which was viewed over 60,000 times, shared by almost 2,000 users, and has attracted hundreds of comments, Hazel who sits at the door and begs for money to buy food, says she needs help.
Hazel said in the two-minute-long video: “I need help. If it is in my mind. If I am like the little girl with a demon I still need help. If it is a mental problem, I need psychiatric medication. I don’t want people to be lying on me and slandering me and watching me suffer and die. Look at my two feet; people that know me know that my hands weren’t like this. I need help. I am sick of the lies and the deception.
“I cannot bathe myself properly because of my hands. I cannot comb my hair. It was matted, but eventually I tried until I get it done. It ain’t wash since 2013, this is 2019. I live among people I would think are human beings.”
Parliamentary Secretary Rowe repeatedly asked Cadogan whether she would allow him to take her to the nearest polyclinic to see a doctor.
But she said her first order business was getting her two unwanted occupants out the house.
Terry Cadogan said he was sticking to his word that he was not abusing his mother whom he said was “wicked and making up stories”.
The man said he never had a good relationship with his mother, whom he claimed treated him badly from a child.
He explained that he returned home about eight years ago, he informed his mother that he would be paying the bills.
He told Barbados TODAY: “My mother looked at me and told me I have no bills coming at her house, I ain’t paying no bills in her house. My younger brother is in prison. That is her child; I am her dog, because she always refers to me as the dog.
“When I moved back in this house I was sleeping on the floor, and my brother called the neighbour, three doors over to come and witness her take the two cushions I was sleeping on, to take them in the shower to soak them so that I can’t sleep in the bedroom. Since then, so many things have happened.”
The son said the relationship between him and his mother was strained to the point that he once rushed to hospital where she was taken for medical attention, only to learn that “my mother told the people she don’t know me”.
He also said that his mother’s body was in the condition it was in because he promised not to touch her after she told people he physically abused her.
He recalled that in November 2017, Hazel attempted to throw a bottle of urine on delivery men who attempted to carry a refrigerator into the house because she did not want the appliance in her house.
As it relates to his girlfriend, Terry said Hazel just did not like the woman whom he alleged threw hot water on her during her pregnancy.
But he also said that unlike others, he does not believe his mother has mental issues.
Terry Cadogan said: “All I want my mother to do is to show me some respect as a human being. The real problem is her lack of respect for me as a person. I am not going to touch her. Calling me a dog is one thing, but telling people lies on me every single day, is another.
“Recently my mother was vexed with [Terry’s girlfriend] because she was using the microwave. My mother forced her way around the girl and . . . unplugged it.
“When the girl went into the bedroom my mother took one of my spoons and put my spoon in the garbage bag. I have it on camera. I installed a camera for a reason.
“This is where I came from, and until I can do better, I am not leaving.”
Living just blocks away from Hazel’s home, her sister Beverley Cadogan told Barbados TODAY she has not spoken to her sister for almost 40 years.
Cadogan said she did not have a good relationship with her sister from the time they were children.
Beverley Cadogan said: “From the time I born and I know she we could never do. She is something else. Things turning back on she now.
“She treat them children bad, so it turning back on she now. She use to put them outside and lock the door. I doubt he hit she, she does tell too much lies.
“She does send people at the supermarket and when the people bring the things she does tell them carry them back. She want putting in a home. When I pass I don’t even look there.”
In an update this evening, Rowe told Barbados TODAY the middle-aged woman was removed from her home by a medical team and taken to an undisclosed heatlh care facility where she is receiving treatment.
He said: “The situation is one that there is a need for healing between the mother and the son. The relationship is fractured and I could see more hate, than love.
“I would recommend that they get some counselling. But right now, my main focus is to get her the necessary care that she needs right now and to make sure that it continues.”
Former spokeswoman at the Barbados Water Authority, Joyann Haigh, also visited Hazel’s home to render assistance after some Facebook users living overseas encouraged her to do so.
Haigh who also spent some time listening to the different sides of the story, commended Rowe for his swift intervention, especially regarding Hazel’s health concerns.
Haigh told Barbados TODAY: “However, the relationship between the son and his mom requires a bit of repair and given what I have been told by both mom and son, that may not be an overnight fix. I just hope that the public will not rush to judgement as to how this lady got to where she is today, but rather pray for her and her son to find peace and forgiveness in their hearts. I believe that if they both take steps in the right direction, things will work out for the best.” firstname.lastname@example.org
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