I am Dr. Shirvanie Persaud and I have been locked out of my island’s borders for nine months. In this time, I have suffered great losses, but my pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
--I await permission to reenter Trinidad and Tobago but have been facing financial, health and academic turmoil.
--I am a doctor employed in Trinidad and Tobago but can not receive a salary because I am unable to do my contractual duties & expected to repay five monts of salary paid while I was locked out.
--I required management of a medical diagnosis that costed multiples more than my health insurance would cover in the USA.
--I was made to take leave of absence from my specialty program at The University of the West Indies because I was away from my training.
--l continue to have financial obligations in T&T.
NATIONALITY AND BACKGROUND
I am neither citizen nor permanent resident of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) but I am a citi zen of Guyana, a CARICOM country; and my Certificate of Recognition of Caribbean Community Skills Qualification allows me a right of entry and indefinite leave to remain in T&T. The certificate, issued by the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs in T&T also allows me to work in T&T.
fter completion of undergraduate medical training at the University of the West Indies, Saint Augustine, I pursued training in a post-graduate General Surgery speciality at the same campus.
I was made to take a leave of absence from this program after having completed five years of study and training. This is because I was away from clinical exposure for the al lowed two-weeks per semester. I am expected to resume my program when I return.
FIRST ATTEMPT TO RETURN TO T&T When Trinidad and Tobago announced closure of its borders to non-nationals, efforts were made to change flights and obtain permission to return before its ultimate closure. However, I was advised by the Ministry of National Security to shelter in place.
FINANCIAL LOSS My work place has stopped my salary due to my inability to fulfill my contract (being locked out of our borders). I am also expected to repay five months’ salary, due to their error in paying me for a period while I was locked out. I cannot afford this as I have used that money to survive these last nine months in a foreign land. While life in the USA bled my funds, so too did my financial obligations in T&T. I continued making loan payments to the bank and kept up most of my rent (because our landlady is a 90-year-old retired teacher who depends on us to survive).
MEDICAL EXPENSES I have had unforeseen medical bills in the USA, of which my health insurance will refund TT$6 000 but this bill amounts to more than US$6 600. I was especially shaken by the loss of my twenty-week fetus as I suffered a second trimester miscarriage while locked out. I wonder if it weren’t for the stress of my exile, if my baby would be alive today. The physical manifestations of this stress is seen as psoriasis rages throughout my body.
CONCLUSION I rallied after each Office of The Prime Minister press conference; always hopeful but always disappointed. The family which was gracious enough to host me in the USA has also fallen on harder times. I feel like a burden to them, making their tough situation worse. Please, I stand to lose my job, my apartment, my vehicle and my dignity. I thank you for your time and I hope for a positive response.
Anonymous donated $3,375
Shinnell Aregbesola donated $1,013
Aaron Haralsingh donated $1,350
Shiva Parasram donated $1,013
Hope this little helps. A friend of Christi Ramsingh.
Anonymous donated $1,688
Keep your head up, you'll make it through this storm
Aarti Nagessar donated $675
Varun and I can't imagine what you have had to endure. Our prayers are with you.
Stephen Worme donated $1,350
Best of luck, Shirvanie. Hopefully the Trinidad Government will soon realise this error and correct it.
Angel Budhram donated $338
Anonymous donated $675
Marc Sukhoo-Pertab donated $675
Hey sorry for all you have been through, I can’t begin to image. But if it is one thing I always knew about you, that you are strong and you get through anything. Sorry I can’t help more
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