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Gunshot victim confident he will walk again one day

Gunshot victim confident he will walk again one day


Simeon James relished his independence. He once held a good job at the Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC); he was one of the main breadwinners of his home and had aspirations of doing great things with his life.{{more}}

All that came crashing down on September 13, 2011, at Coconut Range, Campden Park, when he was shot in the lower abdomen, an injury which left him paralysed from the waist down.

Today, the simplest tasks are impossible without the assistance of someone else.

However, despite his paralysis, James said doctors have told him there’s a possibility he may walk again. But for James, he’s not listening to the doctors’ “if” — he knows he will walk again.

“I really don’t feel as if I am paralysed. I do my physical therapy with the help of my brother… I know it will take a while, but I am just waiting,” he added.

In a interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, James, who is wheelchair bound, said he is not at all daunted by what took place nearly a year ago.

“It’s been kind of hard, but I have the support of my friends and family, which has been the most important thing to me…,” James said.

Last September, all hell broke loose in the Coconut Range community when a gunman shot four people, killing two, one of whom was Simeon’s mother, Marva James.

“Losing my mother was very difficult, but I’ve just been trying to stay positive all this time… I just have a different outlook on life right now,” James said.

The once promising soccer player revealed that he had plans of joining the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

After the horrific incident, James said he spent 63 days at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

The 19-year-old disclosed that he has to do more medical tests here, following which, he will travel to Trinidad to seek further medical treatment.

On a typical day, James said, he wakes up, prays, then greets his family, following which he chats for a while on his Blackberry Smartphone. Later in the day, he does therapy with the help of his brother, following which he helps his sister’s children with their homework.

“Before this, I used to go play soccer after work or play dominoes with the guys. It’s like all my independence gone, but I know I will walk. I used to feel discouraged at first, but it is really the encouragement of my family that is keeping me alive. All I do is just keep on praying to get better,” James said.

When he was shot, James said there was a time he thought he was not going to make it, because he was on the ground a long time before someone came to his assistance.

“I was on the ground really long and I am just trying to find God and thank him for sparing my life. I wasn’t really sure that I was going to make it…,” James recounted.

James’ sister, Sharon, described the situation as “hectic”, but, however, stated that she does not mind taking care of the brother who once took care of almost everything and everyone in the household.

Since her brother’s paralysis, Sharon said she had to take up a second job just to make ends meet.

“I had one job, but now with the situation and catering for Simeon, I had to get another job…,” she said.

According to the mother of three, she has to arrive at her job for 9:30 a.m., finish at 1 p.m. so she could return home and take care of Simeon; she then has to return to take up another job at 4:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

“It does be hard, especially when I’m sleeping late at night and Simeon call me to come turn the fan or for me to move him, but I really don’t mind because I knew he wasn’t a person who really depended on people,” James said.

“He (Simeon) was basically the breadwinner of the home, but he needs the support now more than ever. It is just hard to see your hand and your foot gone. Everyday, I just try to ask for a spirit of forgiveness, because if I can’t do that, then Simeon might not walk again. Is like you have to forgive sometimes to get closure,” said James.

Sharon, who admitted that it’s been “really rough” since the loss of their mother, stated that she is glad that she has something to remember her by — Simeon.

“It’s really his spirit and outlook on life that keeps me going. It’s like nothing don’t get to him. Sometimes I would make joke and say Simeon, come tie out the goat and he would tell me he would do it just now,” she chuckled.

Since the incident, Sharon said much help has not been forthcoming for Simeon. She said once he concludes tests here, he would learn how much money he needs to travel to Trinidad and would need financial assistance.

Persons willing to make a contribution may contact Cynthia Hope Browne at the St Vincent Postal Corporation, Kevin Rodriquez of the Agape Performing Arts Theatre or deposit the money to account number 83623 at the SVG Corporative Bank.

George “Chocolate” Franklyn, the alleged shooter is currently behind bars awaiting trial for the shootings.