Dive industry worker Kate Clayton injured on Jan. 11
The mother of British dive industry worker Kate Clayton confirmed her daughter died in the U.K., five weeks after suffering severe injuries in a car accident in Grand Cayman.
Kate Clayton, who worked at Tortuga Divers, was paralyzed from the chest down and suffered serious head injuries after her Jeep Wrangler careered off the road and collided with a tree on Jan. 11.
She was flown to England on Feb. 8 after her family chartered an air ambulance.
The 30-year-old, described by friends and family as a fit and active fun-loving woman who was living her dream in Grand Cayman, died 10 days later at Southampton General Hospital.
Her mother Jo Clayton told the Cayman Compass, “We are all grief-stricken that such a fantastic person has been taken away from us. She touched the hearts of all the people she met and will be sadly missed by many friends and family.
“Her spirit is now free. We want to thank the people in Cayman and worldwide for their love, prayers and compassion shown for Kate.”
She spent several weeks at her daughter’s bedside at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
Initially doctors had been hopeful that Ms. Clayton, who was training to be a divemaster, would survive the accident.
Friends and family organized a crowdfunding page, which raised more than 7,000 pounds (about US$10,800) to help fly her home to Southampton and to assist with recovery and rehabilitation costs.
Kate Clayton’s sister Claire Hunt informed contributors on the fundraising page that she had passed away in the neurological intensive care unit just after 7 a.m. on Feb. 18.
She said the family was grateful for the care, compassion and expertise of the staff at the unit and thankful to everyone who had contributed to the fundraising effort.
She said a funeral service will be held on March 6 in Southampton. The family have asked for donations to be made to “Kate’s Fighting Fund” in lieu of flowers so that a charity can be set up in her name.
Ms. Clayton’s struggle appears to have touched people on both sides of the Atlantic. The fundraising page attracted scores of donations from friends, loved ones and strangers in Cayman and the U.K., and her story appeared on the front page of the Southampton city newspaper, the Southern Daily Echo, as well as in U.K. national paper the Daily Mail.
Her mother earlier told the Compass she would always be grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers and support from people on the island.
She said her daughter 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,” she said.