‘Cheryl Miller dragged away’

Miller’s colleague, who spoke on condition of anonymity, related how she was held by a “burly nurse” and taken away by mental health officers after an official called them in to remove Miller after she had an outburst over being pressured by another co-worker. The staff member said it is known that Miller is “a very quiet, reserved person who would take Bristol board to block her view from the other office.”

“She does not talk much. She would go to her desk, do her work. She would say good morning sometimes, and sometimes she wouldn’t,” said the staff member, who added that Miller may have her peculiarities but “nothing like violent outbursts.”

On March 20, the day before she was committed, Miller, the co-worker said, “was having conflict with another staff member who would throw words at her then complain about her. Cheryl (Miller) would not complain.”

The staff member said on March 21, Miller was approached by an official from the Human Resources (HR) Department about the issue but when she tried to explain her side of the story, Miller was brushed off, and told, “This conversation is over’.”

She said when the HR personnel left, Miller complained that she was “being treated like a dog and that nobody was listening to her side of the story.” The employee claimed line minister Verna St Rose-Greaves then arrived and spoke with her.

“We thought that was the end of it. The minister left and Cheryl sat quietly writing an apology as advised by the minister,” said the staff member.

The eyewitness claimed another official was heard telling a colleague, “They would be coming for Cheryl Miller just now.”

Shortly after, “a big burly nurse appeared next to Cheryl. She did not interview her. She told her ‘get up and move!’ Cheryl ask her questions like ‘Why are you here? What is this about? You are embarrassing me. What have I done?’”

The staff member could not remember if it was the Permanent Secretary or the acting Deputy Permanent Secretary who asked the legal officer in the ministry, in the presence of the mental health officers, “‘Is this a public space?’, meaning the office.” When the legal officer responded positively, she said, “two men came to either side of Cheryl. They held on to her upper arms, took her out of her chair. She wasn’t fighting. She wasn’t screaming. They ushered her to the elevator and took her away.”

Miller’s co-workers protested outside the ministry again yesterday calling for her to be discharged from hospital. A Seventh Day Adventist pastor yesterday spent close to an hour at Ward 1 of the St Ann’s hospital where he prayed with Miller.

Miller, according to her sister Doreen, read from the books of Ecclesiastes, Proverbs and the gospel of Matthew in the Bible.

Doreen yesterday said no one from the ministry ever contacted her or any other relative to report any incident of Miller behaving strangely nor did anyone advise that she needed psychiatric treatment.

Doreen said her sister’s work as an accountant has never been questioned, noting Miller had complained to her about being taunted and harassed a female co-worker who had close ties with a senior official at the ministry. Miller’s co-workers have said they witnessed the alleged harassment. They said Miller made a complaint to permanent secretary (PS) Sandra Jones, who previously served as the PS at the Health Ministry. “She is missing home, she wants to be reunited with her pets and is anxious to get back to work,” Doreen said yesterday.

Miller seems a little more relaxed as she has been reading the Bible and praying, said Doreen.

“All she talks about now is getting out of St Ann’s and I am doing all that I can to have this happen,” said Doreen. After visiting her sister at St Ann’s, Doreen went to the office of a Port-of-Spain lawyer where she had discussions with the female attorney about having her sister released from the hospital. North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) chief executive officer Judith Baliram- Ramoutar, in a statement yesterday, confirmed Miller had been warded after an evaluation by doctors. http://remont-kvartirspb.com

“We are now compiling the chronological sequence of events that occurred on March 21 when the patient was admitted. We are in that process right now and based on the findings the relevant ministry will be notified as well as the relatives,” said Baliram-Ramoutar.

She advised Miller’s relatives to speak with the hospital’s Medical Chief of Staff Dr Ian Hypolite “in the interest of the patient and the family concerned.”


"‘Cheryl Miller dragged away’"

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