- Accident victim
Barrington Flemming – Staff Reporter
“I am in constant pain. It is difficult to move around and whenever I see like it’s going to rain, I start to be afraid; I fret because the metal in my left foot attracts lightning. I try to cover it but sometimes it still affect me. So, when the lightning shock mi; mi wet myself; mi cry all the time.”
This is the reality of 37-year-old Springfield, St. James resident, Miguel McKenzie, who is popularly known as ‘Nose’, a former bus conductor, who has, for the past two years, been battling intense pain; and struggles to be mobile. This is as a result of a motor vehicle accident which left him with a broken right hip and left leg, forcing him to be ambling around in a wheelchair. He is unable to work and has resorted to begging to get money to take care of himself – something he does not like doing.
McKenzie, who was in pain when he spoke, recounts the frightening ordeal that almost cost him his life and left him with limited movement.
“I was working on a Kingston coaster bus that ply the Montego Bay to Kingston route; so on May 31, 2017, it was raining and when the bus reached the Burwood Beach area (near Falmouth, Trelawny), the driver lost control of the vehicle – and it seem like him go too near the banking and pick up a skid and the bus overturn and fell into a gully, roll and drop.
“My left leg drop between the door and brake. A feel some pain and the passenger dem panic because smoke was coming from the engine and they trample me and broke my right hip bone.”
McKenzie recalls that despite the fact he was being wracked by excruciating pain, he still had the presence of mind to move his upper body out of the way; a move which saved his life.
“Di passenger dem a stamp all over mi so mi push me head under one a di seat dem fi protect miself. If I did not do that, I would be a dead man, because they would crush mi head,” he said.
He was taken to the Falmouth General Hospital where he had to wait for two months before surgeries were carried out on the hip and left leg.
They did surgery on the hip and sent him home. Eventually, surgery was done on the left leg, where a metallic plate was implanted. But McKenzie said the implant was not strong enough and it broke, (as was revealed by an X-Ray).
“It is seriously affecting me right now and when time cold, mi feel severe pain. Whenever it rain, I get a big, thick blanket, long socks and long pants fi protect the foot from lightning and pray. Is three lightning shock me in September. The last time was September 29 and mi wet myself. I was so embarrassed.”
He now needs an operation to have that implant removed and replaced but according to McKenzie, he has been told at the Cornwall Regional Hospital that the operation cannot be done there now and he needs to try a private medical facility.
So, he visited the Montego Bay Hospital at Mt. Salem adjacent to the CRH, where Dr. Suman Vemu told him that he has left femur non-union with failed fixation and needs to undergo a medical procedure which includes implant removal, orif with lock nail and bone grafting.
The hospital fee and cost for the procedure is put at $1.35 million and he does not have the money to pay for the procedure. So, he is asking for any help he can get.
“I really need to have this operation done so that I can get back on my feet and work again. Mi love to work, but now a beg mi a beg and people a embarrass me. It pain mi heart fi 2 year and three month mi caan work and so I depend on the mercy of others and the members of the Springfield Welcome Hall Seventh Day Adventist Church. Please, I need your help,” he pleads.
Friends have to help him move around so he desperately needs assistance.
McKenzie said the Operator of the bus, who he worked with for just over a month, has totally neglected him. He neither sees nor has he heard from him.