Almost one week after she was shot in the chin, 16-year-old waitress Onika Luke is still awaiting surgery at theOnika LukeWoodlands Hospital to have the bullet lodged in her throat removed, relatives have said.Luke, a student of St John’s College who works part-time as a waitress at the Lucky Star Chinese Restaurant, Better Hope, East Coast Demerara, was shot by a lone gunman while at work on Friday.According to the teenager’s brother, Rickford Ranjee, doctors have delayed the surgery until the young woman’s condition improves.Ranjee told Guyana Times that his sister was still a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital.He, however, complained that doctors have not been adequately updating his family about Luke’s condition apart from indicating that she would be cleared for surgery after the blood clotting had reduced.He said the delayed surgery was putting a significant financial burden on the family.“From Friday night to yesterday (Tuesday), we had to pay over $1 million for Onika’s treatment because we are still waiting for the surgery,” he disclosed.Luke is still unable to speak and the family has observed that she is having difficulties in moving around. Ranjee related when doctors were questioned about what might be the cause of her difficulties, no answers were provided.“She can’t talk or anything and they had to bore a hole in her throat and use a tube so that she can breathe. We think her spine was damaged too, but doctors can’t confirm it yet,” he related.In the meantime, the family is hoping that doctors operate quickly on the young lady so that she can begin her recovery.On the evening of May 27, about 22:45h, Luke was on duty when a lone customer entered the restaurant and ordered a half serving of vegetable fried rice.After paying for his order, the man allegedly held on to Luke’s hand, while pointing a firearm at her and demanding that she handed over the cash.Reports are that the teenager put up a fight and it was during this that the man discharged a round in her direction, hitting the St John’s College student in the chin.She was picked up and rushed to the hospital.At the hospital, the teenage girl provided a written description of her attacker who was said to be the same man who had threatened to kidnap her a few days earlier.She had noted that the man has a tattoo on his neck and frequented the restaurant.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde, has reportedly expressed the desire to engage the Liberia National Legislature during her two-day visit here July 16 and 17.The IMF boss’ request was conveyed to the Senate last Thursday in a letter from President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.According to President Sirleaf, Ms Lagarde will use the opportunity of her visit “to gain a deeper understanding of Liberia’s post-Ebola challenges and discuss with key stakeholders, opportunities for partnership support to Liberia. She has expressed a particular desire to engage the Legislature.”President Sirleaf reminded the lawmakers that the IMF is a key international financial institution which includes Liberia’s membership that goes back to the 1960s. It serves as a key partner to Liberia by working through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia. This support, President Sirleaf noted, is largely achieved through programs that provide balance of payment support to the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).“I should also note that the IMF provided exceptional support to Liberia during the Ebola crisis. In view of this, I ask that you honor Ms Largarde’s request by convening a joint session of the 53rd Legislature to provide her the opportunity for this engagement. The interaction, the President suggested, could be scheduled for Friday, July 17, at an hour appropriate to the Legislature.The letter was turned over to the leadership of the Senate which is expected to advise plenary thereon today.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)