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Jamaica: Man disabled from electrocution wants help getting prosthetic leg

BY KIMONE FRANCIS

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Tyrone Bryan balances on his leg while recounting his story. (Photos: Norman Thomas)

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — When Tyrone Bryan woke up in the Port Antonio Hospital in Portland last August he had only a hand and a foot.

He was both petrified and confused since the last thing he remembered was picking breadfruit in Anchovy Gardens in the parish. Everything after that was a blur.

Bryan couldn’t recall the events that led to his bed-ridden status — not the power line dangling mere metres away from him in the tree or the semi-broken branch he had stepped on while attempting to reach a breadfruit.

The Portland man, a vendor, had returned from Kingston shortly after 11 o’clock on the first of the month when he decided that he needed breadfruit.

“In climbing the tree I didn’t bring a stick with me because I only needed a couple of breadfruit — like six or so. While I was doing that I saw a breadfruit further from me that I couldn’t catch. When I look I saw a piece of steel beside me and from mi touch the steel mi just feel a vicious shock. The current weh mi feel run through I said no; I wanted to call out to my brother,” the man recalled in an interview last Tuesday with the Jamaica Observer North & East.

He wanted to tell his brother, who was standing close by, that he wasn’t going to make it, to let his daughter and grandchild know that he loved them dearly and to make sure that they were taken care of. But the words never left his lips. What felt like minutes to the 40-year-old man actually occurred in the bat of an eye.

“When mi wake up mi see a lot of people round mi at the hospital crying and stuff. When mi look pon myself, star, everywhere burn up. I was feeling pain above mi right knee and when mi look mi realise seh it break off.

“Boy, mi a tell you it rough, star. From there them send me to UHWI (University Hospital of the West Indies) and then KPH (Kingston Public Hospital). Boy, mi can recommend the doctors at KPH; them treat mi really good. Mi affi recommend the people them; a some young likkle doctors weh professional. The service did ‘up’ you know?” he said.

And although he has undergone a psychiatric evaluation and has received physiotherapy for his damaged limbs, the stress from being immobile has taken its toll.

“Right now mi up and down. Mi lose one hand and a foot but the faith we mi have is fi get a prosthetic [leg]. Mi nuh know how much it costs but I’m trying to work on it. I would also love some help in getting it. It’s hard fi have the one hand and the one foot — the balance off. Where mi live mi affi a ask people fi lift up mi wheelchair. Mi never ever in this situation before where I have to depend on people. Tears never run outta mi eye suh, but mi a hold it because mi spiritual. Mi believe inna God,” Bryan, who could not hold back the tears, said.

The man, who normally travels to Kingston to sell crops, was also a picker for a company in the parish.

“I was usually up and down, climbing, picking jelly and thing, but now mi just stable. It just boring more while but mi affi just hold it. Mi stress out more while; mi feel like mi woulda just give it up fi tell you the truth,” the man said.

However, he believes that the incident happened for a reason and that it has brought him closer to God.

He told Observer North & East that he now reads his Bible frequently and believes that his faith will soon see him through.

“The doctor who did my arm told me not to worry about it because it will not function, but I went on the Internet and I see how technology has advanced and I woulda like the foot. I want to be mobile again. You see the road to come up here. It’s rough. Even to go down by my house is rough. So I would really like some help getting it. My biggest objective is getting back a foot,” said Bryan.

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