Crash sur­vivor starts foun­da­tion for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - ROMARDO LYONS STAR Writer

In 2014, Sherese Brown sur­vived a ter­ri­ble car ac­ci­dent along the New Forest main road in Manchester. “That mo­ment, my life changed tremen­dously. An im­me­di­ate surgery was done in my ab­domen to re­move blood clots from my bat­tered body. I suf­fered a head in­jury, a surgery was per­formed in my brain that lasted nine hours to re­move a clot. I spent three weeks on a life-sup­port­ing ma­chine. I suf­fered mul­ti­ple fa­cial in­juries. My neck was bro­ken in three places,” Brown told THE WEEK­END STAR. “Two months later, those bro­ken bones were re­placed with irons, be­cause the seat belt broke my arm, col­lar­bone and chest plate. I am a para­plegic.”

Brown says that af­ter be­com­ing a part of the dis­abled com­mu­nity, she has re­alised that more needs to be done for those peo­ple. So last year, she cre­ated the Sherese Brown Spinal Cord In­juries And Dis­abled Char­ity Foun­da­tion Lim­ited.

SO­CIAL DEVEL­OP­MENT

Its aim is to im­prove the health, and eco­nomic and so­cial devel­op­ment of in­di­vid­u­als with spinal in­juries, and dis­abled per­sons through­out Ja­maica. She reg­is­tered the foun­da­tion last July and started mak­ing do­na­tions in De­cem­ber.

“Be­ing ad­mit­ted in hospi­tal fa­cil­i­ties for 11 months, I fathom the needs of per­sons with spinal cord in­juries and dis­abil­i­ties through­out Ja­maica. My heart bleeds to know how the dis­abled com­mu­nity has been looked down on and there’s lit­tle or no help for us. I’ve heard so many tes­ti­monies, but one em­bed­ded within my fi­bres,” she said.

Brown is re­fer­ring to the con­ver­sa­tion that she had with a young man who had suf­fered se­vere spinal in­juries; it spurred her to es­tab­lish her foun­da­tion.

“It was a Friday after­noon at Mona (Re­hab) … it was pool day. A young man came to change and I asked him why not use the bath­room, then he ex­plained to me why he couldn’t.” Brown learned that the young man had very lit­tle in terms of re­sources.

“It gut­ted my soul to know how much hunger that young man en­dured … he did not even have some­one to give him a cup of wa­ter. It got so bad with him that he was wear­ing his last di­a­per,” she re­called, hence his rea­son for not us­ing the bath­room area.

Brown is adamant that more at­ten­tion needs to be given to dis­abled per­sons.

“So many per­sons with spinal cord in­juries die be­cause they don’t have the money to fund the ma­te­ri­als for their surgery. The sooner the surgery is done, the faster the pa­tient can start re­cov­ery and more lives can be saved. Be­ing in this sit­u­a­tion opened my eyes to help as many per­sons as pos­si­ble through­out Ja­maica, sav­ing lives and stand­ing for dis­abled rights. It’s time for per­sons with any form of dis­abil­i­ties to stop feel­ing less than oth­ers and shine like the gems we are,” she said.

The foun­da­tion also aims to col­lect and dis­trib­ute food, cloth­ing and money on be­half of the tar­geted re­cip­i­ents. She is ask­ing for more per­sons to come on board.

“I am plead­ing to ev­ery­one to be a part of his­tory. Help me change lives; help me turn our coun­try into an en­vi­ron­men­tal friendly habi­tat for per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. It just takes one per­son for a dream to come alive, so be that per­son,” she said.

To con­trib­ute to the Sherese Brown Spinal Cord In­juries And Dis­abled Char­ity Foun­da­tion Lim­ited, one can make a do­na­tion to: Ac­count num­ber 0200001115­57 Ja­maica Na­tional Bank, Junc­tion Branch.

C ONTRIBUTED PHO­TOS

Sherese Brown

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