Burn victim fighting for her life

Jessie Perry has no insurance, family needs money for treatment

A young woman who suffered devastating burns in a car accident remains in critical care in the Cayman Islands Hospital as her family desperately tries to raise enough money to fly her overseas to a specialist burn unit. 

Jessie Perry suffered burns over 80 percent of her body when the car she was traveling in crashed into a curb in West Bay in the early hours on Monday. Police said the vehicle’s fuel line ruptured and the car ignited. 

Ms. Perry, a domestic helper, originally from Jamaica, turned 21 on Sunday. 

The accident shocked her family and friends in Cayman. Her aunt, Jacqueline Ebanks, who also lives in Cayman, told the Cayman Compass that her niece’s chances of survival depend on getting her to a burn unit overseas. 

Ms. Perry was on a temporary work permit and has no health insurance. Ms. Ebanks said the family doesn’t have the money to get her to Miami for treatment. Efforts to get Ms. Perry to Puerto Rico failed when hospital authorities in the U.S. territory realized the extent of her injuries. 

Now the family is reaching out to the community for assistance with the cost and logistics of getting her the treatment she needs. 

Ms. Ebanks said, “Right now, she is basically on a life support machine. She is not able to breathe on her own. They are just trying to keep her alive so she can get overseas and they are doing an awesome job. 

“When I saw her this morning, she was better than when I saw her the night before. She can pull through, but only if we get her help to go overseas.” 

Ms. Ebanks said the stress of finding the money for life-saving treatment is taking its toll on the family, including Ms. Perry’s mother, who has been by her daughter’s bedside since Monday morning. 

Ms. Perry needs critical care, specialist burn treatment and extensive plastic surgery. 

The family believes if they can raise some of the money, the authorities will help find a solution. She said the family has already been promised some financial support in emergency loans. 

“We don’t have time or the strength to do any kind of fundraising. All we can do is hope.” said Ms. Ebanks. “I don’t think that people should be waiting for family members to raise money before they can get help.” 

She said her niece had arrived in Cayman less than a year ago and was living in Windsor Park, George Town. 

Concerned friends and relatives have filled the corridors of the hospital since Monday, and Ms. Ebanks said the calls have not stopped coming from Jamaica. 

“She is such a jovial girl, she is very popular. My Facebook page and my Whatsapp is going crazy with people asking for updates. There are so many people willing to come down to the hospital and lie with her and wait for news,” she said. 

Anyone who can help can call Ms. Ebanks on 322-5673. 

Ms. Perry
Ms. Perry


  1. Another example of why universal, single payer health insurance for Caymanians, work permit holders and visitors, would have been a much better and ultimately cheaper choice.

  2. I agree with Ms. Vargas.
    The Burn Unit at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) is one of the top trauma units in the Caribbean region. I had a relative treated there recently, for similar burns, and he is on his way to recovery. Jamaica or Cuba are the most accessible points at this time, especially due to the urgency of the matter and lack of insurance, money and possibly immigration paperwork to travel to US.
    North Street
    Jamaica, West Indies
    Ph: (876) 922-0210-9
    Fax: (876) 967-3739, 967-1636
    Email: [email protected]
    Days Open: 24-hour service daily (Patient Services)
    Clincs: 8:30a – 3:00p (Weekdays)
    Office Hours: (Administrative Services)
    Mon. – Thur.:8:30a – 5:00p
    Fri.: 8:30a – 4:00p

  3. I agree with Andrew, but sometimes you have to deal with the insurance company really hard to make them understand that this is the reason why people pay for insurance on their vehicle to have everyone covered in this case, or is it possible now that you can buy insurance on your vehicle and not have 3rd party covered in your policy? I wish her well in her recovery.