News

Daughter still in coma two years after accident

But mom gets support to start chicken rearing project

By RENAE DIXON Sunday Observer staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 10, 2014    

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It has not been an easy journey for Nadine Beckett Miller who has to care for her daughter who remains unconscious almost two years after a motor vehicle accident in St D'Acre near Alexandria, St Ann.

Atallia Williams, then 16 years old, was among a group of Brown's Town High School students travelling in a Toyota Hiace minibus to school on September 5, 2012 when it collided with a truck, killing the driver and injuring the students.

Most of these students have since recovered and are back to their regular routines, but for Williams it has been different. She remains unconscious at home under the care and watchful eyes of family members. Caring for her has not only been an emotional struggle for the family, which includes younger siblings, but Beckett Miller, who had to give up travelling overseas to work in order to care for her daughter, has faced financial challenges in an effort to look after her and attend to her younger children at the same time.

The mother has made numerous pleas for help to start a small chicken farm at home to help offset some of these expenses. After waiting for sometime, she was elated when members of West Indies Home Contractors Ltd assisted by CBG Gage Solutions turned up at her home in Alexandria to build her the chicken coop.

A team led by Shawn Verley travelled from western Jamaica to build the coop and has since made plans to give Beckett Miller 100 chickens along with chicken feed to raise her first batch.

"I am really thankful because it hard," Beckett Miller said.

The mother said that she was appreciative of the love shown by these men who returned to her home on Independence Day to finish the work that they started a week earlier.

"Mi really appreciate it; it was their day off," the mother said.

While she was thankful to Verley and his team, Beckett Miller was grateful for taxi operator Winston McKenzie who was the "Good Samaritan" who sought help for her and brought her need for assistance to others such as Verley.

McKenzie, who operates the Savanna-la-mar to Negril route, has been collecting money and sending it to Beckett Miller monthly.

"Every month he sends whatever he collect," Beckett Miller explained.

When the Jamaica Observer spoke to McKenzie, an ex-soldier popularly known as Soldiery, he said he decided to help after hearing the mother's appeal on the radio.

"I am a taxi operator and I heard the news one afternoon that she needs help and can't go out to work. I wanted to do something for someone like that and so I got in touch with her through the radio station. The very next day I started begging", he stated.

Since then, the reputable taxi operator has been seeking contributions for the teen in Westmoreland and has been sending the money to St Ann to help Beckett Miller to care for her daughter.

But McKenzie still wanted to do more for the mother and her daughter and so he started to inform others about Atallia's situation and encouraged them to do whatever they could to help. He soon told Verley about the child's situation, and urged him to come on board.

Verley said that he was happy to help the St Ann family.

"I feel really, really great to be able to help," he said. Verley also donated diapers and formulas for Atallia's feeding.

He said that the men who went with him to offer their voluntary service to build the chicken coop were also elated to assist.

Beckett Miller, while happy that she will be able to do something economical at home while caring for her daughter, said that she has still not been able to do an MRI scan for Williams as she was unable to come up with the funds needed. The mother is remaining hopeful for her daughter's recovery even though she remains unconscious for almost two years now.

"She still moves her leg a little," Beckett Miller said.

Even while she waits patiently for her daughter to recover, Beckett Miller has also had to deal with the shock of a second accident involving her daughter. An ambulance transporting Williams to the hospital recently was hit by a truck. However, she did not receive any additional injuries.

A shocked Beckett Miller was shaken up by the incident.

"I had diarrhoea same time," the mother revealed.

She remains hopeful that Atallia will recover fully.

(Atallia Williams)

WILLIAMS ... remains unconscious after horrific accident

(company support)

COMPANY SUPPORT

Members of various companies including (from left) Ashley Allen, Demar Bennett, Lyonel Dillon, Steve Sewell, Brenda Escoffery from CGB, Shawn Verley and Kamelia Johnson of Elite Equipment Service; Winston Mckenzie, Neville Burke, Carey Bolt and Omar Bartley.

(coop building)

The chicken coop under construction.

(at home)

Managing director of CGB Gauge Solution, Carey Bolt and Equipment Service Manager Shawn Verley of West Indies Home Construction (WIHCON) check on Atallia Williams at her home.

(PHOTOS: RENAE DIXON)

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