12-Y-0 girl bedridden after struck down by speeding car

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A 12-year-old girl who was struck down by a speeding car one month ago while crossing the Supply Public Road on the East Bank of Demerara remains bedridden.

On February 13, Akazea Austin was struck down at about 15:20hrs in front of her home.

The Diamond Secondary School student had just exited a school bus and was crossing the road after the bus driver signalled other drivers to stop but the speeding car did not heed the signal.

Her mother, Loraina Waddle told the News Room that she was at a shop nearby and saw when her daughter exited the school bus.

“I see she come out the bus and she walk in front of the bus and when I walking coming I see a sudden crowd, then I didn’t see her but I was looking to see what going on but then I start run cause I say I hope is not my daughter get knock, I see a cruiser pick up somebody and when I look I see is she,” the mother said.

Austin was rushed to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre in an unconscious state.

She was subsequently transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital where she spent weeks in the intensive care unit on life support in a medically induced coma.

She suffered severe brain damage and injuries to the lungs. She cannot breathe on her own and has to be fed through a tube.

Austin was discharged from the hospital last Saturday.

“I feel good she at home but she is not responding, she is not talking, she is not walking she just lay down and is like I can’t do anything. I have to stay and look at her all the time,” the mother said.

The mother said she had to stop working in order to care for the child.

The man who raised Austin as is his own is William Mentus, a fisherman. He said since her accident, he too has been unable to work as Austin requires 24-hour care.

He said they cannot sleep properly and have to always be on the alert because she tries to pull out the tube in her throat.

“We have to pray and hope that she come back like a normal person, brain damage according to the doctor, it don’t heal right away, it takes some time, so we hanging in to see what will happen, but she is still young so we hope that with prayers and healing she get back to a normal person.”

Austin is described as a brilliant child who wants to become an air hostess. Her father highlighted that they are also seeing improvements with her condition since the accident.

“From the time of the accident she get some improvement because she was unconscious, now she regained consciousness and if you talk to her she would stay just so and start cry, so we now that she’s improving, she would yawn and sneeze and looking around,” the father said.

When contacted by the News Room, Regional Commander Senior Superintendent, Kurleigh Simon said the file on the accident was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice about a week ago where recommendations were made for the 45-year-old driver be charged with dangerous driving.

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