Kedine Blair has been living in grief since March 30. It should have been a date when she celebrates, as her firstborn, Ne-Sean Blair marks his 16th birthday, but instead, will forever be etched in her memory for being as a day that she nearly lost him.
Ne-Sean, on a trip to a neighbourhood shop, was shot in the back, which according to Kedine (mother), the bullet travelled along his spinal cord and lodge in his neck. The ordeal has left him paralysed from his neck down and lying on his back at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).
Since then, Ne-Sean’s situation has taken a toll on the Blair family, which is from New Hall, Manchester, with father Sorman having a hard time coming to grips with what transpired and leaving four-year-old brother Nehemiah and 12-year-old sister Nickelcia traumatised.
According to Kedine, she was told that Ne-Sean was in the shop with three of his friends, when a man walked into the establishment, placed an order and then pulled a gun on one of the individuals in the group. All four ran off, with the perpetrator firing shots at them, with one catching Ne-Sean.
“After him get shot inna him back now, him fall down and hit the forehead, so him did knock out and then he recovered and dem send him over by the hospital. So is a young man they came for, but he (Ne-Sean) was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Kedine said.
Kedine stated that she got the call about her son’s injury while he was at the Mandeville Hospital, where he stayed for a day before being transferred to KPH.
She said that she has been advised by doctors at KPH that Ne-Sean will have to live the rest of his life in that state, however, she is presently in contact with someone in the United States of America (USA), who is seeking assistance from hospitals there for Ne-Sean.
Kedine said the family now needs financial assistance to get Ne-Sean to the USA, with the first major cost being US$50,000 (J$7.5 million) for airlift transportation and another US$20,000-US$30,000 (J$3 million-J$4.5 million) for early medical expenses.
She said the doctors at KPH are willing to facilitate Ne-Sean’s journey to the USA and have indicated that they are ready to sign the needed documents for the transfer.
In the meantime, Kedine said, the family is hanging on to faith, including that of Ne-Sean with the hope that he will be able to walk again.
“We have to try to get him to the USA because I want to see my son walk again, which he is just lying in the hospital. He said to me, ‘mommy mi a guh walk again’, ‘cause the doctor tell him seh him nah guh walk, but the faith that my son, his father and I have and other relatives and friends that are praying, we believe in God and know God going to help him get back on his feet. I believe in God and trust God and God is going to work a miracle on my son,” Kedine said.
She said at a recent family prayer, she was touched to hear Nehemiah pray for God to return his brother home for them to be able to sleep together again. She said the incident has left Nickelcia lost and staring into space.
According to Kedine, Nckelcia was one of the first persons on the scene after Ne-Sean was shot.
“My daughter she is so traumatised as well because right now, mi have to send her by one of my relatives and they are saying that sometimes she just sit down a look out a space, because is just three a dem mi have, the three a dem grow together and when you look her brother just sick and lying in the hospital.
“When her brother got shot she was there. After the incident and everything, she run down the road, so she exactly get fi si her brother and she shake him up and seh, nuh dead yuh know, wake up and all box him and seh, wake up, wake up,” Kedine said.
Kedine said that the shooting has not affected Ne-Sean’s ability to talk or his mental capacity and he is confident that he will be able to return to playing defence for May Day High School, having donned the school colours at the Under-13 and Under-16 level already.
“Football a him dream and that a weh him want mek money from, playing football,” she said, while stating that she has not been able to sleep properly since the incident.
“He was a happy, peaceful, loving, ‘mannersable’, respectful, caring and sharing person. This young man was very good, because even the community all around, they miss him and everything, they say ‘boy that little boy, he is so ‘mannersable’ that him naw pass yuh pon road and nuh tell yuh howdy’. That’s how my son is,” Kedine said.
She is calling on the government, private sector and individuals within the Jamaican society to hear her plight and assist Ne-Sean to get to the USA, where she believes the doctors will be able to get him to walk again.
She is asking that donations be sent to bank account 2094335810 at the Mandeville Branch of JN Bank. Those wishing to donate from the USA must provide their banks with the following information to send US dollars:
Intermediary Bank: CITIUS33
Beneficiary Bank Name: JN Bank Limited
Routing Method: SWIFT
Swift Code: JNBSJMKN
Beneficiary Account #: 2094335810
Name: Kedine Blair