Still reeling

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The schoolgirl who was brutally beaten into a state of unconsciousness by her then schoolmates at the Lester Vaughan Secondary School almost two years ago says her life has significantly changed since that incident which was recorded and circulated on social media.

Sitting at her St Andrew home this afternoon, minutes after returning home from the school to which she was transferred following the incident, the now 17-year-old who is preparing to write CXCs,  told Barbados TODAY that she now suffers from severe migraines which have not only affected her overall health, but also her ability to focus on her school work. She said sometimes the headaches are so severe, that she fights sleep, because she is afraid that she may not wake up.

Marcia Carrington searching a stack of receipts for her daughter’s medical bills.
Marcia Carrington searching a stack of receipts for her daughter’s medical bills.

And even though many months have passed since she was kicked, hit about the body and left at the side of the road, on May 17 2017,  the fifth form student, who can no longer participate in athletics, said she is unable to stand for long periods, and at times, she would “just suddenly collapse”.

The girl who said she often wishes the incident which took place off the school’s compound, never happened, lamented that she feels sorry for her mother Marcia Carrington, who has so far spent thousands of dollars on her climbing health bill, including doctor visits, CAT scans and other expensive tests, and multiple therapy sessions.

“Nobody knows what I am going through. I don’t think people really understand how it is for me. Words can’t explain how I feel. It hurts. I does lash out because what they did to me wasn’t right. It was unfair. Nobody really understands what I go through on a day to day basis. I does got headaches. I can’t focus on my work.

“Right now I got entered for six CXCs and one (SBA) School-based Assessment ain’t start yet because I don’t know where to start. Everybody I go to, to do work it is headaches and I does got back pains. It is hard. I might laugh and I might seem alright to you sometimes, but inside I ain’t alright. Sometimes when I go sleep, I does be frightened I can’t get back up because of the headaches,” the emotional teenager said.

“My mother paid the majority of everything; doctors appointments, therapy, counseling. My mother paid everything and them ain’t do nothing about it. I come off of therapy because the back stopped hurting, but now it start back, so I have to start back the therapy,” she added.

Carrington said not only was the escalating cost of her daughter’s medical bills giving her a headache, but also the fact that the teen has been missing too many days of school as a result of the back and head pains. Carrington also indicated that she often has to stay at home with her daughter whenever the headaches become unbearable.

“Day before she tell me, ‘mummy, the way how my head hurting me, the blow like when them hit me inside my head, that like it happen yesterday, that is how I feel’. I went overseas to get her some medical checks in December and I bring she back in January. They said that they can’t find anything wrong with the brain.

“They said the trauma to the head causing the swelling behind the head, and the swelling does be in front of the head too. Since we came back, she got a swelling at the back of her head. I raised a child and I never had to run bout with she, but because of this incident now, I got to be running bout with she and stuff like that. Right now, I scared in a way because of the headaches. And the head does hurt she that bad, that she does still collapse. She does just got to try. When it becomes severe now, when you talking to she, when you swing around she on the ground. I don’t know if it would be a long-term something,” Carrington said.

Several teenagers from that institution were charged and brought before the law courts after Carrington pressed charges, demanding justice and compensation for what happened to her then 15-year-old child. The mother said she was upset because she was yet to receive compensation.

“I spend almost about $7,000 on her. And the 17th of May coming here gine be two years. I feel that it is time enough that I get back some of what I spend on the child because I didn’t beat she. She get beat by other people, and the other people should start to pay the compensation.

“Look, her medical reports, one is BDS$1,000 and the other one is $3,500, and then the lawyer say that she would got to get $1,000. If I got to be running she at the doctor when the week come, and I got to be carrying she to therapy and doing this and the third for her, where I going to find that kind of money? I can’t expect to pay the bills and leave her unattended. Nobody ain’t helping me with she.

“It hit me real hard too because I had to go to the psychologist myself. I had to go on medication. I am still on medication. I does got to go to anger management. Yes, I am angry. I am angry because of how things happening. I got to be spending money all the time and I didn’t beat my child, somebody else beat she, and I shouldn’t be got to be spending money all the time.”

Carrington said following the incident, several members of the public offered assistance to her daughter through her rough times.  However, the mother made it clear that she was disappointed in the Ministry of Education’s failure to reach out to her or the teenager.

The mother explained that she and her daughter have seen the perpetrators on the streets and at events. She said she believes some of them are sorry for what they did.

“I does see them. I does see them in a crowd. One girl does work and I does see she. The boy, sometimes I work in town and I would see he pass through town. He would pass and look at me with he head down. But if she come in contact with them, it does change she attitude. If you coming to talk to she now, and you coming to talk to she with aggression, she feels like you coming to fight with her. And she would put up a wall that you wouldn’t be able to come round she that kind of way. And she ain’t no person like that. She was a loving child. But she got some anger in her now. And I does carry she to counseling for help,” the mother said.
anestahenry@barbadostoday.bb

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