It is indeed with heartfelt sympathy that I write to let the nation know of the agonizing plight of the several thousands of Saint Lucians now languishing in Dr. Ken’s special Red Zone while a cure is being for what is described the “En-Rouge Epidemic.” Among the suffering patients is my good friend Starry.
He confided in me that over the past 15 months he has rapidly deteriorated from a bright, hardworking and healthy young man to an out-patient battling several symptoms of En Rouge, to full admission in dreaded The Red Zone Unit.
Starry is desperately awaiting specialist care from Dr. Ken. During my visit to this overcrowded ward I gave my pain-racked aggrieved friend an understanding ear as he eagerly told his sad story, his face contorted by a deeply despondent expression.
After several minutes of taking in the crowded unit, I turned in near shock to my friend: “What’s going on in this hospital, Starry? An epidemic?” My friend nodded affirmatively.
His voice reflecting his weakness, he said: “All of us you see here have a condition called En Rouge which it seems we contracted sometime back in October, November of 2011.”
I pulled away from him immediately afraid his ailment might be contagious but he quickly assured me the disease had long gone past the communicable stage. I let out a sigh of relief and leaned in closer again to hear more about Starry’s condition from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
“Starry garcon, l don’t quite understand how you get this disease,” I said. He paused, took a deep breath that created a sink hole in his chest, before he said: “As you know, I was a strong, robust young man, eh. I wasn’t rich but I was in good health and managing. From about 2006 I was on my feet steady, taking care of my family, going well.” “But Starry that’s why I shock to see you here in such bad condition with both your legs in traction!”
“Well what happen is this: some friends and I heard about a miracle drug, called Bettadayz. It promised to really give our lives a turbo boost, man. So we decide we interested. We got a box of the pills and started to take it. Then we started with all our family and friends.” I glared at my friend. “Man just so you go and try miracle drug, just because it name Bettadayz?” Starry threw his boney arms up over his head, brought them down again.
“Man, I regret so much. Dem pills was free and it was a good sell you know. Nice packaging, nice taste too.” He hesitated a moment. “The real big mistake was we thought it had the approval of the Federal Drug Administration. In fact what was on the box was KDA approved, not FDA.” I was trying to follow Starry’s story closely but he was losing me.
“Garcon you saying this miracle drug Bettadayz was fake and you put that in your body?” Again Starry gave me the yes nod. I wanted him to hurry up with the story. All around me people were hunched over and complaining, crying, shrieking and moaning repeatedly calling for Dr. Ken.
“Well, a lot of Lucians started swallowing those pills, man. We were all on a high man. I think I could say everybody that took it was on a high; screaming En Rouge, En Rouge until they had no more voice left to scream. But shortly after that my man, people start to complain about side effects. Especially last year in 2011. That was a shocking year. Everybody that took Bettadayz started to get real sick with En Rouge Syndrome.” What an intriguing story. I was really interested now.
“Starry boy, I not hearing anybody talking about no En Rouge epidemic man. If it so destructive why the health authorities not telling the public more about it?” Starry rolled his eyes.
“The health authorities have it too. People shame, shame, shame. You know, like it is some kinda AIDS. We prefer, you know, to suffer in silence. But once you get into the Red Zone, you know there ain’t no way you can keep it in anymore. You have to let it out for fear it choke the life outta you!”
I felt a great need to help my friend. I was certain he and his friends had grounds for a national lawsuit. Before I could say a word to Starry about his legal rights, he blurted out: “You know what medication they put me on now? Ekonomic Crysis.”
“Oh,” I said, tears in my eyes: “Well, Starry boy you not about to get well soon. That thing working real slow, garcon. But where is your doctor? Who looking aftr all these sick people?”
By now the tears were streaming down his boney face. Then he started coughing, so hard his little hospital bed rattled from the vibrations. He tried to mumble something but talking seemed to cause him unbearable pain. “What you say Starry?”
“I say Dr Ken out of the country right now. Matter fact is like Dr Ken have permanent resident everywhere else but St Lucia. En Rouge sufferers don’t know who to turn to.” Poor Starry, I could no longer bear to look at my once vital and energetic friend. I said my good-byes hoping he can find some kind of peace after what he brought on himself and poor Helen!