T&T Newsday Photo
Carib queen terminally ill.
By Rhondor Dowlat
Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday | Sunday, August 22 2010
"CARIB QUEEN Valentina Medina, 77, of Arima has been given an estimated two weeks to live by medical doctors...............................................................................................................................
To help her through her last days, Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, on Friday, in a surprise visit, provided her with an assistant medical care nurse, free of charge. She was also given a stove and a refrigerator and promised “whatever would make her life comfortable”.
Medina has made several requests of the Government, including a permanent caregiver to be assigned to her and coverage of all medical expenses and facilities required by her.
Ramadharsingh reportedly got wind of her and her situation/requests and decided to pay her a visit and grant her her wishes, taking into consideration her contribution to society and also the fact, that she represented the Carib community and what the Caribs contributed to TT heritage.
Medina has been terminally ill, having being diagnosed with cancer. Though in a lot of pain and discomfort, her spirit is quite strong, and she is not afraid.
The cancer has covered most of her liver and has spread to her lungs, but she is not yet experiencing respiratory problems.
Additionally, she is still able to ingest small amounts of food and fluid and can walk short distances on her own.
Medina’s challenge is that although several family members reside with her, most times during the day she is alone, with no one to assist her. Her stated desire is to die at home.
Ramadharsingh spent about one hour interacting with her and sharing a few laughs in between. They both discussed the Carib heritage and she showed him her crown and other cultural items.
Medina was said to be “totally overjoyed” and appreciative of Ramadharsingh’s gestures and delivery of social services, including the provision of a medical care assistant.
Medina was born on May 6 1933, in Mount Pleasant, Arima. She is the fifth Carib Queen since the introduction in 1875.
On March 26, 2000, Medina, of Mausica Lands, Arima, also known as Iere, was named Carib Queen for life, at an election at the Santa Rosa Carib Community Centre in Arima.
Medina who was 66 years old at the time she was named the fifth Queen after Justa Werges, has been queen for the previous 11 years. Werges died in January 2000.
Though she embraced the Carib way of life since childhood, after her marriage at 18 years in 1952 to John Medina, she was called on by then Queen (Edith Martinez) to be more active in traditional Carib life.
She was named queen for a day three different times and her husband was named king for the day as well."
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.
Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.
Mweh ka allay!