Mother thanks Cayman community as Kate Clayton is flown home
The mother of a British dive industry worker injured in a car accident says she is grateful to the island community for the outpouring of love, prayers and support for her daughter.
Kate Clayton, 30, was flown back to the U.K. by specially chartered air ambulance on Sunday.
She is paralyzed from the chest down, and her family has been told she may have suffered permanent brain damage. Friends and family, both in Cayman and the U.K., have organized a crowdfunding page to help pay for her rehabilitation.
Her mother Jo Clayton flew to Grand Cayman immediately following the accident in North Side on Jan. 11 and was by her daughter’s bedside until she was flown home.
She said it was a heart-rending experience to see her fit and active daughter lying in hospital, unable to fend for herself and facing an uncertain and unstable future.
For Mrs. Clayton, it has been a “roller coaster” of emotions. One minute, she said, her hopes are lifted by a movement of her daughter’s hand or a look of recognition in her eyes. The next she is crushed by the sobering diagnosis of the doctors. Medics fear Kate, who works at Tortuga Divers and was training to become a divemaster, will be permanently brain damaged.
Her mother has been desperate to get her home to Southampton so she can receive specialist care, close to her family.
They raised money independently to charter an air ambulance, and the injured woman was cleared to fly on Friday. She was in a stable condition in hospital in Southampton on Monday.
Kate, who moved to Grand Cayman in December 2013, was injured when her red Jeep Wrangler left the road and collided with a tree just before 10 p.m. on Jan. 11.
Mrs. Clayton said her daughter was living a dream in Cayman and had fallen in love with the islands, the people and the lifestyle.
“She enjoyed her life in East End, which she had made her home, enabling her to dive, swim, windsurf, horse ride and enjoy the exhilaration of life.
“A very fit and active young lady with so much fun and vitality has been tragically reduced to such an unstable and uncertain future.
“On behalf of Kate, I would like to thank everyone in Cayman for the love and prayers and compassion they have shown. We all wish for Kate to get better but we know it is a long uphill struggle,” she said.
The cost of Kate’s recovery, rehabilitation and lifestyle adaptations are likely to be long and ongoing.
Friends and family have organized a fundraising page, on fundrazr.com, which has already received more than 100 donations totaling nearly 6,500 pounds (approximately US$9,900).
Mrs. Clayton said she is grateful for every penny received, but she said she was most touched by the way people in Cayman had offered love and support to her and her daughter.