Crash survivor starts foundation for persons with disabilities
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.
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.