Front Page
October 7, 2014
57-year-old farmer to receive prosthetic leg from Lions Club St Vincent South

When Valentine Samuel arrived at the Computec conference room yesterday, the possibility of receiving a prosthetic leg was the last thing on his mind.

The 57-year-old farmer, who walks with the support of two wooden crutches, was attending a Lions Club St Vincent South event, where farming {{more}}supplies were being distributed, when disaster coordinator of the service club, Junior Bacchus, noted how heavy the crutches seemed.

In an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Samuel revealed that he has been walking with crutches since he was a 12-year-old boy, when he lost the bottom half of his right leg in an accident with a truck.

While Samuel went on to pursue studies in electronics at the then Technical College, he explained that farming became a part of him when that career path did not work out.

“I love farming. Farming became a part of me. I started planting behind my house; lettuce and tomato and every morning, when I go out and I could just pick two lettuce and put in me bread, I feel nice,” he said.

The farmer, who cultivates approximately 10 acres of land in the Argyle area, told SEARCHLIGHT that his crutches provide major support to him when farming and that he is just like any other man with two legs.

“I’m a full-time farmer. I move like everybody else and I do things you wouldn’t believe that I could do,” Samuel declared.

“Because I lost my foot so young, people might think life is different for me, but it’s just a normal thing. You would not believe I could carry a sack of manure. You would not believe I could dig bank, plant, anything. I could go pick my own breadfruit on a tree.”

Despite being able to do things that persons with two legs can do, Samuel admitted that there is one task that makes him feel “less than a man.”

“Only thing that makes me feel less than a man: I can’t drive and I don’t have a vehicle. A lot of my money goes to transportation. If I buy things in town, I have to hire something to carry them out. I have me produce to bring in town, I have to hire something,” he told SEARCHLIGHT.

Samuel explained that he owned two prosthetic legs in the past, but that they did not fit him properly because they were never measured or fit to suit him.

“If I had money, I would have gone three years ago,” he said, referring to an opportunity to go to England to be fit for a prosthetic leg.

“I was just going to work to see if I get money to go anywhere in the Caribbean. I don’t have money, no address of nowhere to go.”

The one-legged man expressed appreciation for Bacchus’ initial offer of chrome crutches, but explained that his wooden crutches were much better for farming and highlighted his desire for a proper fitting prosthesis.

He highlighted that while he would not be able to use the prosthetic leg on his farm, he could use it on other occasions, such as attending the event he did yesterday.

Bacchus told SEARCHLIGHT that he had contacts who would be able to acquire a prosthetic leg and would facilitate the process, so that Samuel does not have to use his crutches all the time.

“This is what we are about. We serve. You might ask where we get all this money from. Is a whole set of rich people in this club? No. It is a whole set of rich hearted people that are members of the Lions Club South. The resources we get come from others who trust us,” Bacchus said.(BK)