Battered robbery victim laments lengthy wait for medical care

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Monday was the second day since Terry Viville – beaten on the head when he was mugged recently – went to the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) for treatment, only to wait five hours without being attended to.

In an interview with OBSERVER Media yesterday, the 19-year-old Belmont lamented the situation and expressed frustration that his condition seems to be worsening.

“They said they had an accident dealing with on Saturday so I understand that part, but [Monday] I was telling the doctor my head hurting me and is like the recurrence, over and over, the headache keeps pounding harder and he just told me I have to wait until my name gets called,” Viville said.

The young man was robbed of his Dominican passport, gold chain and knapsack late Friday as he walked home alone. One of the three masked robbers dealt him a blow to the back of his head with a baseball bat, before escaping in the same car they used to follow him while he walked along Briggins main road. Viville fell to the ground, eventually getting up and running home “in shock”.

The next morning he took painkillers and then went to the police to report the attack. By then the back of his head was swollen and tender. The police gave him a medical form, he said, and advised him to go to the hospital. But when he got to MSJMC around 11 a.m. on Saturday, he was told the hospital was dealing with accident victims and his case was not an emergency.

Viville said he waited until about 7:30 p.m. and had still not received medical treatment. The injured youth left the hospital and went home, but as the painkillers wore off his pain returned more severe than before. That prompted him to return to the hospital on Monday. But again he was told that his case was not an emergency, even though the swelling had not gone down, the pain remained intense, and he continued to experience blurred vision in one eye, he said.

He waited from around 11 a.m. until after 5 p.m. and had still not received any medical attention. Viville returned to the police yesterday for help but, according to him, he was told they cannot escort him to the hospital.

He said he plans to return there today since he cannot afford to pay a private doctor. Meanwhile, he is appealing to the public for help to recover his passport, as he is seeking employment and needs for that purpose.

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