Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 8th 2015 Contents | FAMILY |
"I didn't give him my number; I asked for his instead. I made him
wait a week before I called; I didn't want him to feel too special."
The tactic must have worked, because the Wades have been
married for 16 years.
Their warmth radiates from them as they speak, and their
great love and respect for each other is palpable. It's the kind of
romance many couple dream of, but never attain.
What makes the solidity and enduring nature of their relation-
ship all the more remarkable is the enormous demands placed
on them as a family by the condition of their son, Darion, who
has called a hospital bed his home for 15 years.
"When he was four months old we noticed he was having diffi-
culty breathing," explains Korene. "He was diagnosed with
spinal muscular atrophy. It's a degenerative condition. They told
us he wouldn't make it past 5 months old, but he has defied the
laws of nature."
Since Darion is unable to breathe on his own, he relies on a ma-
chine to breathe for him. All his physical needs have to be taken
care of, and, as he is unable to speak, he communicates with his
expressive eyes. His family has no problem understanding him,
however. "He can steups with his eyes," Korene says.
The couple also has a 10-year-old-daughter, Kyra-Marie, who is
a healthy, vibrant child. Very much interested in the arts, she
has performed onstage in productions like Raymond Choo
Kong's The King And I. One would imagine it is easy for her to
feel overshadowed by her brother and the demands he makes
on her parents' time, but she clearly adores him.
The Wades visit their son morning and evening, bringing him
music and DVDs to help him pass the day. Korene is an Estate
constable, Richard is a member of the Air Guard, but thanks to
compassionate employers they are granted the time needed to
make the twice-daily trek to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences
Complex. Usually, Kyra-Marie joins them on the afternoon trip,
and special arrangements have been made to allow her on the
ward. "As a family, you need to bond, and you can't bond if part
of the family is missing."
The extent of this commitment is mind-boggling. Don't they
take days off? Doesn't the constant effort wear thin? "He's our
son," says Richard. It's as simple as that.
The couple and their daughter ventured out of the country on a
family vacation in 2011, mainly because they wanted their
daughter to enjoy such normal family activities. "We don't want
her to feel resentful." But they first sought obtained Darion's
implicit consent. "I had never left that child up to that point. We
trusted in the Lord and we believed in His goodness and His
grace -- we moved away and let the Lord do his job."
For Korene especially, the family fun was tinged by guilt and
longing. They made frequent phone calls to Darion, and the
nurses told them that he was smiling whenever he heard their
voices. "It was only when we came back that they told us he
was really crying. I may never be able to do that again."
With such demands on their time, finances, energy and spirit,
many a couple would buckle and break, but Richard says that
the challenge has brought them closer. Korene agrees. "It's me,
God, and Richard. That's the team."
"It's not easy; you have to give up a lot of yourself," Richard
adds. "It's all about teamwork and communication: there is no
'my responsibility' or 'your responsibility'; it is our responsibility."
The couple says that while they don't know what plans God
has for Darion. "But he will always know we love him."
And THAT is unconditional love.
February 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
WOW MAGAZINE | 7
With such demands on their
time, finances, energy and
spirit, many a couple would
buckle and break, but Richard
says that the challenge has
brought them closer. Korene
agrees. "It's me, God, and
Richard. That's the team.
By Roslyn Carrington
RICHARD WADE first met Korene on Valentine's
Day 1991, when he was scouring Port of Spain, des-
perate to buy roses for the main woman in his life
--- his mother. "They were sold out everywhere," he
Then, spotting this demure young lady sitting with
two roses in her hands, he was bold enough to
offer her twice what she paid for them. An odd
look, and a refusal, was followed by an offer of
THREE times their cost, but since Korene was
holding them for her sister, she declined. She did,
however, agree to accompany him into a store and
choose some silk roses, which he speedily deliv-
ered, and then returned to woo the woman who
had struck him between the eyes.
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