A pall of gloom now hangs over a family and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, who have been left baffled, as they seek to get answers surrounding what they claim to be the mysterious death of 25-year-old Constable Shanine Gayle, who was attached to the police unit at the Donald Sangster International Airport.
Constable Gayle, who was in an advanced stage of pregnancy (34 weeks), died on Friday at the Savanna-la-Mar Public Hospital, after being admitted on Wednesday, complaining of headaches.
“Every day as it goes by, the feeling gets worse. I really can’t understand my sister’s death, and I hope to get some answers soon. Just a little headache and she’s dead? I really don’t understand that. It has left an entire community in denial,” said Lorian Gayle, sister of the deceased.
Lorian further explained that last Monday, she took her sister to the doctor after she complained of having a headache and she came home Monday night after getting some medication. “She slept all day Tuesday, so I allowed her to sleep, thinking that she was tired from her duty as a police officer.”
“I woke her on Wednesday, gave her some tea. She did not take much, and did not eat. She was too weak to bathe herself so I bathed her and decided to take her to the hospital. She was not holding up.”
She said her sister was admitted and “they told me that she was tearing out her hair and was not cooperating, so they had to give her an injection to calm her so they could insert the IV as she was dehydrated.”
Later that night, Lorian said she received a call from the hospital calling for her to come to the facility to grant permission for the doctors to perform a caesarean section to take the baby, who subsequently died.
“I came on Thursday and saw the ventilator on her, but I believed that she was not alive. They called me on Friday saying she had stabilized and could do a CT scan. I paid the money and they did the scan. They took her to the hospital where a group of doctors gathered around her consulting and then came to me, my father and my aunt and told us that my sister was brain dead and would need a neurosurgeon to attend to her.” Lorian said.
“You are lying,” Lorian declared to the doctors, “my sister died from Thursday but because you were scared of a lawsuit, you said nothing”.
She said they returned to the recovery room and five minutes later, they came to say “sorry, we have bad news, your sister had a cardiac arrest and died.”
“That was it,” said a dejected and still confounded Lorian.
Meanwhile, Paul Stanton, Superintendent of Police in charge of the Police Unit at the Donald Sangster International Airport, told the Western Mirror that it has been and continues to be heartache for the police at the airport, including himself, who have had to be comforted by the chaplaincy unit.
“It was not a pleasant experience, I was there when she breathed her last breath. I have to be calling in the chaplaincy unit to comfort us, even myself – I am head of the team here that has good workers and we operate as a family and for one to go and go so early -I have not been myself since I heard about her death.”
“The entire Little London came out and that was saying that she was a woman of virtue – she was well loved and respected in her community – whenever you see an outpouring of love from any community toward a police officer, then you know that, that police officer is a cut above the rest –as we generally say she is from the top shelf,” said Superintendent Stanton.
“She was a pleasant person who brought such maturity to her job, even though she was a rookie cop with three and a half years’ service. She was the life of the party and made friends even with those who she prosecuted, she was firm but fair,” Stanton explained.