Schoolgirl walks again
Gabriel Jack is walking and talking again.
Gabriel is the nine-year-old pupil of the Kingstown Government School (KGS) who suffered a brain injury after being struck by a vehicle on the Campden Park public road on Thursday August 13 this year.
“One day I just see she get up out the [wheel] chair and started to walk,” Gabriel’s mother Sigalyn ‘Siga’ Jack told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday.
After being struck by the car in the vicinity of the Allan Smith Family Bakery in Campden Park, Gabriel was rushed to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) where she spent several weeks battling for her life.
She won that battle and was released from the MCMH in late September, but was in need of specialist medical care as at that time, she could not walk and also was not speaking. She also needed financial support as her mother is not in the best financial position.
“When I saw her walking, I started to cry and say, ‘Oh my God look Gabriel walking’. I am happy now that my daughter can walk and talk again,” Jack said on Wednesday, while adding that the first time Gabriel walked, she had to pick her up because she fell, but Gabriel continued trying.
However, Jack said Gabriel cannot yet return to school as she still cannot properly hold a pencil and is working on her speech while still undergoing medical attention.
“She started to walk and talk again with the help of God and a lot of prayers was out for her,” Jack stressed while adding that the family still needs help with items like PediaSure, soft foods and vitamins.
In a hoarse voice, Gabriel said she felt “good” with her progress as she is sometimes able to visit the beach.
Gabriel said she believes “God” helped her become mobile again and to be able to talk.
“When I see my sister and them going school I feel bad because I want to go back,” she said while speaking slowly.
She said she feels “proper” but at times she has pain in her feet and head.
Elroy Haynes, Gabriel’s grandfather, fighting back tears, said that one morning he came to see her and learnt that she was walking and talking again and he immediately grew emotional.
“She said ‘Gangfather’ and immediately water come out me eyes. It was a lot of prayer and a lot of people help she, bring goods for she, bring money, a little donation and come and pray in the house with she and so on and with the help of God she come,” Haynes said.
He noted that he expected her to be able to live a normal life again but he was not sure how long it would take.
Haynes said also that the driver of the vehicle that hit her visited them and the family has forgiven the person, but is still looking at how the law would deal with the issue.
“I just glad that she didn’t dead and so and I give God prayers,” Haynes commented while noting that Gabriel still needs a lot of help as she has to be assisted with certain tasks like bathing and still cannot eat hard foods.
“We wouldn’t go into much details; she’s weak still because her teacher came here and look for she and she couldn’t hold the pencil properly and she cannot return to school yet because the lash was very serious,” Haynes said.
Gabriel celebrates her 10th birthday on December 18 and is in high spirits.