Western News

A mother’s love - ‘She held on to the baby even after the car hit her’

Woman who risks life to save 3-month-old son battles for life in hospital

BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large,Western Bureau cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 15, 2013    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James—- Twenty-four-year-old Khadeen Headley remains in serious condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a Montego Bay hospital, almost two weeks after she placed her life in harm's way to save her three-month-old son, Naeshawn, in a motor crash on a section the Montpelier main road in St James.

Meanwhile, family members and relatives are heaping praises on her for what they described as her act of "bravery and love" for the infant.

"She deserves a medal. How many of us would risk death to save someone's life?" one of Headley's relatives asked.

Reports are that Headley, her son, and a relative, seven-year-old Rossani Stone, were at a bus stop in Montpelier at about 7:45 am on August 3 awaiting a taxi to transport them to church, when they were hit by a Toyota Corolla motor car.

Additionally, two other persons, a 56-year-old shopkeeper Jennifer Vassell of a Mount Carey address in St James, and her 14-year-old grandson, Cavan Campbell, who were also at the bus shed, sustained injuries in the accident.

According to an alleged eyewitness, the driver of the car, who was later identified as Dwight Saunders, 27, of a Manchester address, lost control of the vehicle, which plouged into the group, hitting Headley, hurling her outside of the bus shed where she was standing. The vehicle also hit Campbell, Stone and Vassell before crashing into a board shop.

All five were taken to hospital for treatment.

Stone, Campbell and the baby suffered minor injuries and were later released from hospital, but up to yesterday Vassell, who was reportedly scheduled to get married sometime next month, and Headley, remained in the local health facility.

One of Vassell's legs has been reportedly amputated arising from the crash, while Headley is suffering from severe head injuries, bruised lungs and spinal injuries.

She is unable to speak at this time and will require a major surgery, according to family members.

"She has, however, made some improvements since the terrible accident. Special thanks to the nurses and doctors at the hospital for bringing her thus far. I am only hoping and praying that she makes full recovery," added a family member.

A man who said he witnessed the bizarre accident told the Observer West that when the car was about to hit Headley she shielded the infant from "the full force of the impact".

"She (Headley) formed a ball around the baby and held him close to her bosom, even when the car hit her and she fly in to the air she still held on to the baby. She really got a hard lick, but she still held onto the baby. She never let him go," said the alleged eye witness, who gave his name as One Cent.

Meanwhile, Saunders, who was subsequently arrested and charged for dangerous driving, pleaded guilty to the charge in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, and was fined $10,000.

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