Ousman Jatta, 45, is threatening to go on a hunger strike unless his 88-year-old wife is returned to him by a U.K. nursing home that is holding her against his and her will.
According to the Mail Online, the couple met 13 years ago in Gambia, where Beryl ran a shop. They first became friends, then fell in love and dated for four years before finally getting married in 2002.
However, in 2006, Beryl was diagnosed with dementia, and it was decided by the couple to move to the United Kingdom, where she could receive better medical care.
When Jatta needed to return to his hometown in Gambia for three weeks, he placed Beryl in the Avon Lodge Care Center, a respite care home in the city of Bristol, on a temporary basis until he could return to the U.K. and resume his care of his elderly wife.
However, on his return to England, the nursing home refused to release Beryl into his care. He is now threatening to go on a hunger strike until they do.
Loves has no bounds, but government intervenes: http://t.co/9HQO0w5Qnj
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Jatta, who is Beryl’s primary care person, says he cares for her better than anyone and that he feels very sad.
“They have used their power against me to keep my wife in a nursing home against her and my wishes.”
He has to visit Gambia occasionally and has never had this problem from social services before.
“Every time I go to the Gambia I contact social services for respite, but they never told me they were going to keep my wife.
“To me Beryl is not old, she is a human being and no matter if she is old or young she is my wife.”
He stressed that he would never neglect his wife and that he loves her.
“I’m feeling bad to see her in a nursing home whilst I am ready to look after my own wife.
“As soon as I came to this country I’m looking after her and nothing has happened to her.”
“I don’t say that the nursing home is bad but to me the belief I have is that you take a person to a home if that person has no-one to look after her but as far as Beryl is concerned, I am ready to look after her until God finalizes.”
According to the Express, this has now been going on since he booked Beryl into the home on February 5. On arriving back on February 27, he was told she could not be released into his care and that he had to call social services for more information. On being refused the possibility of taking his wife home, he then threatened a hunger strike.
Avon Lodge care home has ‘kidnapped’ my elderly wife, says African husband: Ousman Jatta, 45, (pictured) marri… http://t.co/m9Icz3K2Ic
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While Jatta has access to visit his wife in the nursing home, he believes that is not the place for her to be. She both wants and needs to be at home with him.
“When I finish work at 10 o’clock she will not go to bed and tells her carers she is waiting for her husband.”
It was at that stage Jatta decided that threatening to go on a hunger strike was about the only thing he could do.
However, Fiona McGhie, a legal expert in the field, says the social services do not have the power to keep someone against their will. She said they can “form a view and put forward a view of what they think might be in someone’s best interests,” but ultimately the matter has to go to the Court of Protection.
“It doesn’t matter how well motivated these decisions or those views are, the rule is for the court to make that final decision.”
After the threats of a hunger strike apparently reached the right ears, a spokesman for the Bristol City Council said they are now in regular contact with Jatta about his wife’s care and are apparently able to now offer an appropriate care plan which puts Beryl’s interests first.
While Jatta wants nothing more than to care for his beloved wife, the Inquisitr recently reported the tragic story of an 82-year-old woman so badly neglected by her carers that she sat in the same chair for six months, before finally dying there.
[Photo: Bristol City in the public domain by Arpingstone]