Child needs help in uphill health battle
by Lyf Compton
Gabriel Jack, the nine-year-old pupil of the Kingstown Government School who suffered a brain injury after being struck by a vehicle on the Campden Park public road has been discharged from hospital.
Gabriel was hit by a car on Thursday, August 13, in the vicinity of the Allan Smith Family Bakery at Campden Park, and in the days after the accident, her mother, Sigalyn ‘Siga’ Jack, told reporters the child was “fighting for her life”.
Gabriel won that battle but is now in need of specialist medical care and monetary help as her mother is not in the best financial position.
In an interview a few days after the accident, Sigalyn told SEARCHLIGHT she was at work on the day of the accident, but her daughter was sent to buy bread by a relative.
Security camera footage of the accident shows that Gabriel had just alighted a minibus, and had run behind it to align herself with the entrance of the Allan Smith Family Bakery. The minibus pulls away as the girl speedily crosses the road. In the middle of crossing, she is hit by a blue Toyota car with the number plate P7818 owned and driven by Romano Richards of Campden Park. The hit takes her out of the frame of the camera and the video ends.
The injuries Gabriel sustained in the accident have left her having to use a wheelchair to get around, and since the accident, she has not spoken, but she responds and seems to understand when she is spoken to.
She has to eat blended food, fed to her through a tube.
On Wednesday, activist Travis Harry of Voice of Reason visited the Jack home in Campden Park and uploaded a recording to his Facebook page highlighting Gabriel’s plight.
At press time yesterday, the recording had received 39,794 views and Harry told SEARCHLIGHT on Thursday that several persons have sent monetary and other donations to the family.
“A lot of people have been reaching out so I am sharing Gabriel’s mom’s address and number with them. This is my third trip down here to bring back stuff,” Harry said while standing in the Jacks yard on Thursday.
“A lot of people mobilize right now,” Harry said while noting that an insurance company is looking at getting the World Pediatric Project (WPP) involved in the case.
Sigalyn said Gabriel was discharged from the hospital two weeks ago and she is trying her best to care for her. She thanked Harry for his involvement.
“The doctor gave her back to me and say they can’t do anything so they send her home to improve more,” Sigalyn said.
She said she is not sure if her daughter will regain her voice.
“They did not give me no feedback on the talking and the doctor said she still far from coming back,” Sigalyn commented.
Gabriel has several upcoming doctor’s appointments and Sigalyn said they would like as much medical expertise as they can get. She said she has seen the improvement in Gabriel as she moved from assisted breathing to being able to breathe on her own and several other positives.
The caring mother said she is doing her best and any help she can get is appreciated. She said it is important for her daughter to have healthy foods and nutrients like vitamins.
“She had pneumonia so I treating that,” Sigalyn noted while adding that her daughter should have been in grade five now but she cannot attend school.
Gabriel celebrates her 10th birthday on December 18. She was smiling when SEARCHLIGHT visited.
Lauren McIntosh, executive director of the WPP said on Thursday that the possibility exists that Gabriel will be seen by a WPP team.
However, COVID-19 has obstructed the visiting WPP medical teams and a patient has to be referred by his/her doctor before the WPP team can intervene.