Abaco woman’s family seeks help to save her life

Abaconian Sharolyn Albury, 74, is suffering the direct effects of Hurricane Dorian as well as several unfortunate events that have followed.

Albury lost her home and car in the storm that devastated large portions of Abaco and Grand Bahama last September.

Within the six months that followed, she suffered a heart attack, broke one of her legs and lost her daughter to a heart attack.

Now, she finds herself bedridden in Atlanta, Georgia, and in need of 24-hour care that her family cannot afford; and all with no home to return to as progress on the repairs has been slow.

Albury’s son Myron Albury – a born and raised Abaconian who lives in Atlanta – told The Nassau Guardian that since the storm, it has just been one thing after another for their family.

“I have no doubt that everything compounded and that’s what caused everything to go down like it did,” he said.

When the storm hit, Sharolyn Albury was with her son and his wife getting medical attention for kidney stones while her daughter, Marcia Albury, was home on Abaco.

Like many others, Marcia experienced the ferocity of Dorian and had to escape a flooding, collapsing house “with just the clothes on her back”.

Since his mother no longer had a home to return to, Myron said she stayed with him and his wife after the storm while his sister relocated to Nassau.

Then, just over a month ago, his mother suffered a massive heart attack, breaking her leg in the fall which left her bedridden.

As she does not have insurance and the family could not afford to put her in a rehab facility, Myron instead brought her home to his house.

Days later, on February 21, Marcia Albury, who had gone to the United States to try to help in care for her mother, suffered a heart attack herself and died.

Calling the situation a “real struggle”, Myron Albury said: “It’s been a terrible ordeal and stressful ever since Dorian hit because I had to try to go and get my sister out of there and get her situated.

“Then when that happened with my mother, I got her (Marcia) up here to help me with my mother and I guess the stress of it all, just caused her to have a massive heart attack.”

Because they could not afford the cost of sending Marcia’s body back home, they had her cremated.

As far as the family knew, Marcia Albury was healthy, according to her brother. He said she had no history of heart conditions, so her death was very sudden and shocking for the family.

They were aware that his mother had a heart condition but were not aware of how serious the situation was until she was hospitalized for the heart attack.

No help

Doctors told the family that Sharolyn Albury’s leg must recover before she is able to have critical heart surgery.

But the family cannot afford to pay the funds needed to put her in a rehab facility that would help her leg to heal.

Nor can they afford the over $100,000 quadruple bypass surgery that is needed if her leg makes a full recovery.

Gracie Albury, Myron Albury’s wife, told The Guardian that help has not been forthcoming.

“The truth of the matter is we can’t find any help here because she’s not an American citizen, and I’ve contacted The Bahamas, NIB (the National Insurance Board) and all of them and no one’s willing to help do anything,” she said.

“We’ve called every social services, we’ve called immigration, we called the Bahamian embassy here in Atlanta and I’ve emailed them, but I’ve heard no response.”

Myron added: “She’s in a horrible situation.

“If she had the proper medical help right now to get back mobile, then the doctors have told us that they feel she could make it through the surgery and get better and have a lot of years left if she could get through it.

“But we don’t have the means to, because what she really needs to be in is somewhere like a rehab place where they have 24-hour assistance.

“They could help her with her leg, rehab her leg and stuff like that, but we can’t afford to do that so right now we have her here at the house and we’re just trying to do the best that we could do and get by.”

The situation has taken a toll on the family; Just last week, Gracie Albury suffered a major panic attack and was hospitalized out of fear that she, too, might have been having a heart attack.

“We’re going through and we offer prayers to all the other families as well because they’re going through some pretty rough times,” Myron Albury said.

“Bahamians need to pull together and help one another, that’s for sure.

“…We need all the prayers that we could get.”

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