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Cummings recuperating in Trinidad after back surgery

Cummings recuperating in Trinidad after back surgery


Opposition Member of Parliament for West Kingstown Daniel Cummings is recuperating in Trinidad after undergoing surgery on his back.

Cummings, in a call to Nice Radio on June 10, said the four-and-a-half hour surgical procedure, which took place on May 9, was{{more}} successful.

He said he left St Vincent and the Grenadines on May 5, but did not get the chance to inform his constituents where he was going and how long he would be gone for.

Cummings explained that during the procedure, known as ‘lumbar fusion’, doctors removed two damaged discs from his back.

“They removed lumbars three and four and used a mechanism of fusing the vertebrae together, thereby removing the need for the damaged discs,” he said.

Cummings explained that the surgeons made an incision in his back, through skin and muscle to get to his spine, that required 36 staples to close.

He said two days after the surgery, a physiotherapist, after carrying him through some bed exercises, asked him to stand.

“To my amazement, they required me to make a step off to walk. I thought they must be dreaming. I tried it, though wobbly, I was able to walk about,” the parliamentary representative said.

Since then, the parliamentary representative said he has undergone a series of therapy sessions, which include bike riding, walking and special actions to strengthen the muscles in his back.

“I have been advised that once you cut through these muscles in the back, the process of healing, you have to do some exercises to ensure that muscles are not just restored, but are functional,” he said, adding that he is still undergoing these sessions and has added swimming to his recovery regimen.

The representative for West Kingstown expressed gratitude to persons who contacted him and are praying for his recovery.

“I want to say to you that it means the world to me. I want to say to my constituents that I am sorry that I could not hitherto advise you of my whereabouts and reason for my absence…

“I thought it prudent to remain quiet until such a time as God granted the ability to feel that I will be with you in a short space of time.

“I understand your concerns, but I want to say to you that I have this basic principle that if I can’t help myself, I can’t be of help to anybody…”

While stating that it is hard not to be able to be with his constituents as often as he would like, he assured party supporters, that it would not be long before the New Democratic Party is in government.

“You know when that time comes, the work that you will require of me is much more than what I have to do while in opposition.”

Following the surgery, Cummings said he was told by doctors that his pain had been caused by a nerve that was being squeezed.

“That has been corrected and the procedure that was performed will help me to have that pain eliminated…”

Cummings alleged that the injuries to his back were sustained in March 2011, when he was thrown out of the House of Assembly by the police, under directives from the Speaker.

“…Having squeezed my foot in the door of Parliament and me lying on the floor unable to move, I was thrown down the stairs head first,” he said.

The parliamentarian also alleges that during that incident, he also injured his neck.

“…They also damaged a vertebra in my neck, which is a problem I have to deal with subsequently. For the time I am grateful I am able to have the operation done on my back,” he said.

He said since the 2011 incident, he has not been able to perform his duties and visit his constituents as he used to.

“…You all have an idea of the kind of pain and torture that I have been through. You all know the indignity I suffered in having a request for a chair, as required by my doctors, refused by the Speaker of the House…,” Cummings said.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly Hendrick Alexander had turned down a request by Cummings to be provided with a special chair to accommodate the injuries he alleges were sustained when he was thrown out of the House.

In a written response, Alexander, however, told Cummings that he could make personal arrangements for seating that “may lessen any discomfort he may experience,” provided that it did not disrupt the Assembly Chamber.(KW)