‘Please - answer my girl’s prayers’: Mum still waits for govt to help sick daughter

Taranique Thurston, aged 15, is still waiting for paperwork to allow her to travel to the United States for treatment of a life-threatening brain cyst. Taranique, pictured with her mother, Ginette Caty, was hopeful, however, saying she hoped to meet Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis so she could make her appeal in person. 

Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff

Taranique Thurston, aged 15, is still waiting for paperwork to allow her to travel to the United States for treatment of a life-threatening brain cyst. Taranique, pictured with her mother, Ginette Caty, was hopeful, however, saying she hoped to meet Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis so she could make her appeal in person. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff


Taranique Thurston speaks


Tribune Chief Reporter


A STATELESS teen suffering from a life-threatening brain cyst who needs to travel to the United States for treatment remained hopeful yesterday that officials will move swiftly to regularise her status.

Without a passport or travel document, 15-year-old Taranique Thurston cannot get treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida for the fluid collecting in her brain.

Her mother Ginette Caty, 34, was naturalised as a Bahamian citizen in 2013 – more than a decade after she had applied at the required age of 18.

Yesterday, Taranique told The Tribune she hoped to meet Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis so she could make her appeal in person. She admitted she felt saddened by negative comments on social media concerning her situation.

The Tribune was advised by a senior government official that Taranique’s file is under review; however, Ms Caty had not been contacted up to press time.

Ms Caty said: “I just don’t want to feel like I’m alone...my child needs urgent medical care. They just don’t understand. In 23 days, it will be my daughter’s birthday, August 24.”

The distraught mother has been told that her daughter will have to wait until her 18th birthday before she can apply for Bahamian citizenship. 

Due to her mother’s naturalisation process, Taranique is currently registered in the Bahamas as a non-Bahamian born to a foreign mother and Bahamian father, who are unmarried.

On Monday, Ms Caty and Taranique spent nearly three hours at the Department of Immigration after they were told by a high-ranking official that her daughter’s file would be reviewed.

However Ms Caty said the pair were initially refused entrance, and later told to go to the Haitian Embassy.

Taranique reiterated her appeal in a short video made later that day.

“I am 15-years-old,” she said. “I was diagnosed last year with fluid around my brain. My mother is Bahamian, she was born here. My father is a Bahamian, he was born here.

“I was born here, I consider myself a Bahamian citizen,” the teen said. “All I’m asking is the government help me to get citizenship so that I can get a Bahamian passport to travel to Florida and get my fluid out of my brain. Because if I don’t, it might be a chance that I die, but I’m only asking that the government help me to get a passport so I live.”


Cas0072 5 years, 11 months ago

With regard to this so called stateless child, if the so called Haitian Bahamians were not so busy playing victims at every turn this girl would not be in this predicament today. Louby Georges encouraged persons of Haitian descent to vote no in the referendum because there was nothing in it for them, he said. Mind you, every other person of Haitian descent claims to have a Bahamian father. Secondly, had they adhered to the 2014 policy and gotten this child a Haitian passport, she would have it today for travel. If one could not be provided to her, that would have made her truly stateless and hence, entitled to Bahamian passport at that time.

Once again, it seems that the mother blatantly ignored the advice to go to the Haitian embassy out of nothing more than misdirected entitlement. Even now, it seems as if they are going about this more importantly to rouse emotions than to get the quickest resolution. Why would the doctor have written a letter to Social Services instead of appealing directly to the minister of immigration? Why demand to speak to the PM and not the minister responsible? The record reflects that the current minister loves using his discretion to grant Haitians whatever documents they need to remain in The Bahamas. It is baffling to me that if this child’s life is truly “hanging in the balance”, as reported, that this mother would use this opportunity to play politics.

hrysippus 5 years, 11 months ago

What a disturbing post, the person who wrote this needs a large measure of compassion to displace the obvious Haitian hatred. I wonder how asking to speak to the pm gets turned into demanding to speak with the pm. People grow up so mean when fed as a baby with a bottle not a breast.

Cas0072 5 years, 11 months ago

Of course you do, illegal immigrant enablers always find something “disturbing” or “hateful” about any rational comment regarding illegal immigration. Emotion is the only tool you have, and that is exactly why we have laws. You must still be breastfeeding if you believe in emotions above everything. That is truly disturbing.

hrysippus 5 years, 11 months ago

About 3 percent of any population base has a large or small degree of sociopathy. This condition means that the sociopath cannot feel empathy for another person's suffering. They will mostly appear cold or unemotional to normal people but the sociopath himself will not usually be aware that he is a sociopath. So Hey sCar0072, does any of this sound familiar? There are a couple of on-line tests you can self-administer which will give you some indication of whether you are or are not a sociopath. You might find it a useful exercise if you have any interest in self examination. Of course ignorance is bliss, as the old adage goes.

jackbnimble 5 years, 11 months ago

Cas - I find your comments to be spot on.... nothing disturbing about it all. The only disturbing thing is how these people continue to rape the system and would do anything for a precious Bahamian passport all while continuing to swear allegiance to a country most have never been to or wouldn't go if they were paid to. Trying to evoke sympathy for papers and a newspaper that fuels it. You can't make this stuff up

licks2 5 years, 11 months ago

She is Haitian. . .why not go get her Haitian passport. . .go to USA. . .return to Bahamas then continue to wait for her constitutionally mandated time frame.

If her mother is willing to play the hard headed and will not use the Haitian option. . .and you continue to play politics. . .the child will be the one hurt. . .she is Haitian!!

Pastor_Cedric_Moss 5 years, 11 months ago

This young lady is stateless. Her mother was born here and was a Haitian until the time of her naturalization as a Bahamian citizen. Although this young lady's mother was a Haitian at the point that the young lady was born in The Bahamas, it was legally impossible for the mother to pass Haitian citizenship on to the young lady because only Haitians born on the soil of Haiti can pass on Haitian citizenship to their offspring, which the mother could not do because she was born in The Bahamas. Then, because the young lady's father, although Bahamian, was not married to her mother, he could not pass Bahamian citizenship to his daughter because our Constitution does not recognize men who father children out of wedlock. Thus, the young lady is stateless because neither of her unmarried parents could pass citizenship to her.

This young lady is not alone; her stateless situation is a common occurrence.

The Bahamas, like all other countries that are part of the United Nations, has an obligation to pass laws to deal with statelessness. We have been derelict in our duty. We can and must do better.

Honolulu 5 years, 11 months ago

EXCELLENT post! Well written, comprehensively understood. Thumbs up!√

licks2 5 years, 11 months ago

Pastor Moss the UN/AMNASTY/OXFARM and others like bodies have not interfered with children in the Bahamas like this young lady because she is NOT STATELESS. . .SHE IS HAITIAN! I would suggest that you read about what makes a person stateless before you do pontificate about the subject!! In fact the UN do not even consider them refugees. . .they made it clear that they do not have any such thing as economic refugee! Each one of those children can go and get their Haitian passport today. . .they don't want to!!

bogart 5 years, 11 months ago

What....???.....dis child still not gone yet...!!!....well muddoes dred........!!!!.......dis child shoudd done have some temporary travel papers....an deal wid all the odder paperworks processing later.....shameful dat dis so.....much worser is da fact dat dis 8 billion dollar economy can hav plenty yadderin plenty attention bout the highest rates of hiv..highest rates of being fat.....diseases wid da sexing organs......yadderin bout healthy food and ...so unable to treat health challendes to do with Brain Surgery...treatment an care

Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 11 months ago

The Tribune at it again. Shameful re-use of a controversial issue to boost their print circulation and online viewership.

tetelestai 5 years, 11 months ago

Could not agree more! The Tribune is, at best, disingenuous and, at worst sleezy and insidious, by continuing to proclaim that this young lady is stateless. She is not. Tribune, I know you only exist to enthusiastically champion the cause of all things FNM, but, hell, you could at least pretend to want to care about respectable journalism.

TalRussell 5 years, 11 months ago

If ma comrades still sitting on fence to tax, or not to tax the richer among we, that should no longer be the question after reading it's quite obvious the more richer are not going step forward on their own to help those in need - not even if it's a plea from hurting child and mother to the colony of islands more richer ....... the more richer preferring leave that responsibility to the government or working peoples Bake Sale donations. May God rain on their gold bars. No wonder they all need moats keep their publicly accumulated gold bars safely secured castle's vault dungeons away from mother's sick child. Make them Gold bars reachable to the collection Tax man's hands. Its' "National Lottery" BahamaCARE's time... But only" Universal Plan" that Protects ALL!


BahamaRed 5 years, 11 months ago

Under the law she is entitled to a Haitian passport. Go get her one of those and quit using this child to get the government to alter immigration laws.

I wonder if they would pull this stunt in the USA.

hallmark 5 years, 11 months ago

Don't we have doctors in the Bahamas who can treat her condition? Where is she getting the funds to travel to the U.S. for such, I am quite sure, very expensive treatment? Why is it when they are trying to elicit sympathy, they describe themselves as stateless?

whybahamas 5 years, 11 months ago

Exactly. A Bahamian passport is no guarantee to entry to the US. They're not going to allow someone without the means to pay for what I'm sure is a very expensive surgery to enter the country. Maybe they've been in contact with the hospital and they're going to do it free? Even then, in this political climate, there's very little chance they allow her to enter the country.

licks2 5 years, 11 months ago

This is Taken from UNHRC site: Governments establish who their nationals are. People usually acquire a nationality automatically at birth, either through their parents or the country in which they were born. Sometimes, however, a person must apply to become a national of a country. The international legal definition of a stateless person is “a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”. In simple terms, this means that a stateless person does not have a nationality of any country. Some people are born stateless, but others become stateless.

TalRussell 5 years, 11 months ago

Ma Comrade Doctors, should be at top list first be Income Taxed - retroactively.... they would rather jump the cue donate towards financing a campaign to block the introduction BahamaCARE "Universal Plan" that Protects ALL! Fact is if you drove past castles we Doctors - they all has moats to keep they gold bars - distant from those with most pressing hurtin' with medical needs... makes this good time press we government about medical cannabis.

birdiestrachan 5 years, 11 months ago

I can not understand why the mother does not apply for a Haitian passport. She would have had it by now. and the young girl would be off for treatment,

tetelestai 5 years, 11 months ago

Because, Birdie, we all know what the agenda is here...a Bahamian passport.

geostorm 5 years, 11 months ago

Exactly! She refuses to get a Haitian passport because of the stigma associated with being Haitian. She is trying to milk the situation to ensure that her child gets a Bahamian passport. Well, the law states otherwise! Let's see if she gets the Bahamas government to break the law because of her special circumstance. If they do, then all other children in similar situations can cry foul.

I do believe however, that the child should be issued some type of travel document similar to the one that they issued to Haitian Jean- Rony Charles when he was ordered to be returned to the Bahamas from Haiti. At least that would allow her to travel to receive the help she needs.

Cas0072 5 years, 11 months ago

@hrysippus Are you capable of reading or comprehension past your emotions? You are the sociopath here, reading with emotional blinders and projecting your irrational tendencies on to someone else. Adults know that differences in opinion are a reality of life and that emotions have no place in law making. That is why justice is blind. Get the help you need before it is too late. It is actually people like you that are so full of themselves and “passionate” about their cause that hurt and kill other people to defend it. I support law and order.

hrysippus 5 years, 11 months ago

sCars007. Thank you your considered response to my post that wondered whether you were a sociopath. A large number of sociopaths do very well in the military and law enforcement. If you are now 36 you are too young to have retired from the Force but you have answered my question very adequately. By the way National Socialism in the 1930's passed laws that made the murder of six million Jewish people lawful and quite in order. You sound like the sort of person who would have fully supported such actions if passed by your government. Food luck with your life.

Cas0072 5 years, 11 months ago

You sound very unhinged with your outlandish comparisons. Had I said anything truly disturbing you could have flagged it and had it removed. The fact is you are incapable of appreciating simple facts or that someone disagrees with you. Is this a symptom of being breast fed for far too long? I don’t know. I want to enjoy my weekend, so please don’t shoot up the place.

hrysippus 5 years, 11 months ago

You are surprising literate, mussa ben edumcated foreign, eh? Enjoy your weekend. I am taking my potcake to the vet but wont tell you which one in case you show up to continue our disagreement in what has become the usual Bahamian fashion per your last sentence.

papasmurff36 5 years, 11 months ago

The child cannot get a Haitian passport because her mother was never a Haitian. Her mother was born here by Haitian parents and she never got a Haitian passport. Furthermore, the child father is a Bahamian and he can't pass his citizen to her because they were not married. Lastly, the doctors referred her to the doctors in the US because they cant treat her condition.

licks2 5 years, 11 months ago

Read Article 11 of the old Haitian Constitution. . .that one prohibited 3 generation Haitian from homecoming citizens. . .which was changed in 2008. . .all such children born to Haitian parents anywhere are welcome home as citizen!! That yinna problem. . .yall keep thinking that nobody has sense enough to see yall talking bull crap. . .that young lady is Haitian!! She can leave tonight as a Haitian citizen. . .

licks2 5 years, 11 months ago

Article 11 of 1987 your country constitution says : any person. . .whose parents are native born Haitians. . .her grand parents were native born Haitian. . .making her mother a Haitian citizen. . .and she being the child of a Haitian citizen. . .which can only be lost by three means. Now go and read the UNHRC site which will tell you those three reasons!!

My2centz 5 years, 11 months ago

@pappasmurff36 Prior to receiving her Bahamian citizenship, the mother was Haitian, passport and all. If she was allowed to forgo this critical part of the application process, it's no wonder she feels so entitled. She put her child in this so called limbo. It's up to her, not the government, to find the fastest route to get help. But it seems she prefers to make a martyr of her.

This misplaced blame is very irresponsible. And even if she is successful in obtaining a Bahamian passport, it will not guarantee a visa to US. If this child succumbs to her illness, this could incite the Haitian community to a Bahamian version of the recent Port Au Prince riots and looting. Mom needs to grow up, and accept responsibility instead of letting her ego and entitled behavior be her guide.

thephoenix562 5 years, 11 months ago

If she has a Bahamian passport she wont need a visa if she travels by plane,Pre -clearence remember.

licks2 5 years, 11 months ago

They would never try an uprising in this nation. . .THEY WILL NEVER. . .NEVER!! They tried that in The Dominican Republic a few years ago. . .there was a slaughter of Haitians from DR straightway back into Haiti. . .the long-term effect of their stupidity was that as a "knee jerk" move by the DR government was to deport hundred of thousands of persons born to Haitian parents. . .legal or illegal!! The international community just ASKED FOR CONSIDERATION FOR THEM. . .BUT THE DR DID NOT LISTENED. . .THEY EXPELLED THE GOOD WITH THE BAD ONES. . .

Emac 5 years, 11 months ago

The problem that I have with Haitian descendants is that they are fixed on trying to make the government and Bahamians bend to meet their needs, no matter how outrages! They never see themselves as being responsible for the situation they're in-It is always someone else's fault. So when this woman grind for this child and conceived, she was Haitian. She had the opportunity then to get her child a Haitian passport. But no, in her mind, she believes that the child should get a Bahamian passport. So without knowing her child's future health problems, SHE alone placed her child in this predicament by not apply for a passport. The child not having access to proper medical facility is NOT the problem here. This whole situation is about entitlement and trying to bully the government and the Bahamian people. And trust me, Fred Smith is behind this facade. Look at this lady's face, or listen to her rantings about suing the government or her not wanting her child to have a Haitian passport. This lady is a fake! If she was really serious about her child getting medical treatment, she would look at other options, such as Cuba. Or she even Haiti. They love to wave their flags and sing praises about a place that they don't want to be a part of. Go figure! I hope that the child gets the treatment she needs, but the mother needs to be honest, accept responsibility for her negligence and simply look at the other options.

bogart 5 years, 11 months ago


bogart 5 years, 11 months ago

The Haitian authorities needs to stop playing games an give dis childe a passport..!!! Decade after decade dey seems to have successfully obdtructed delayed....obfuscated...surrounding nations efforts to put a stop to their willfully exporting dere peolles by any means necessary....in flimsy boats an let the other surrounding countries deal with it...they have seems willfully made every excuse why yhey cannot supply passports to their citizens abroad....they have for decades crying pore mout that there conditions are dire for there citizens to return to....mussey da onliest nation on the planet that refuses to have improved the economic and social conditons going on almost 200 years now...they have their diplomats blatently refusing to call out an have their illegals retirn to Haiti...instead their policy is to establish permanence for their people to settle ...and send back money .and to continue exporting their people.......

licks2 5 years, 11 months ago

Grounds for withdrawing Haitian citizenship are explained in Article 13 of the 1987 constitution:

Haitian citizenship is lost by

a) naturalization in a foreign country;

b) holding a political post in the service of a foreign government;

c) continuous residence abroad for three (3) years of a naturalized Haitian without duly granted authorization by a competent official. Anyone who loses his or her nationality in this manner may not reacquire it. (Haiti Mar. 1987)

Birth is not automatic citizenship (jus soli) in Haiti. . .you must be born from two Haitians. . .born in Haiti. . .to be considered for citizenship! After that, just like Smith. . .whose mother was Haitian. . .all children. . .no matter where they are born are citizens of Haiti!!

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