Community rallies to help burn victim

Jessie Perry remains in critical condition after crash

Community rallies to help burn victim

Update: Burn victim Jessie Perry was transported by air ambulance to Jamaica on Thursday night.

She was taken to University College Hospital in Kingston, according to Patricia Ebanks, who is helping the family.

Original story: 

Efforts were being made late Thursday to get crash victim Jessie Perry flown overseas for specialist burns treatment. 

Ms. Perry remained in critical condition at the Cayman Islands Hospital Thursday afternoon, as the community rallied round to raise funds for her medical care. 

A bank account under the name “Save Jessie Emergency Fund” has been established in Cayman on behalf of the 21-year-old Jamaican woman, who suffered burns to 80 percent of her body in a car accident Monday. 

Efforts to get Ms. Perry airlifted out of Cayman have been hampered by lack of funds for her medical bills. 

Her aunt Jacqueline Ebanks said she believed her niece’s condition was stabilizing. “God is working,” she said. “We are praying for a miracle.” 

She said she was grateful for the outpouring of support from the community. 

“People are coming up to me in the hospital with donations or telling me they are starting collections at their jobs. We are getting full support from the community.” 

The family has received promises of funding from as far afield as Kansas City, where Cayman Compass reader and regular Cayman Islands visitor John Fein set up a crowdfunding page after reading Ms. Perry’s story. 

The Jamaican consulate was in discussions Thursday with the Health Services Authority and the patient’s family in an effort to get her transferred to her home country for treatment. 

Ms. Ebanks told the Compass that the family had received some guarantee of funds through the car insurance of the driver involved in the accident, as well as some assistance through government. She said she believed her niece would be transferred to Jamaica or the U.S. 

She said the family, including Ms. Perry’s mother, aunt and brother and other close relatives were thankful for the efforts of hospital staff in Cayman. 

“The staff at the hospital here are doing such an amazing job and we are getting some help to try to get her overseas,” she said. 

Elaine Harris, honorary vice consul for Jamaica, said the consulate was assisting the family in liaising with Jamaican hospital authorities. 

She said the efforts had been complicated by a nursing strike in Jamaica, but she was hopeful of a solution by Thursday night. 

Patricia Ebanks, who lost her 17-year-old son in a car accident in 2002, is assisting the family with publicizing fundraising efforts. 

She said an account had been set up with First Caribbean Bank in the name of Save Jessie Emergency Fund, with the account number 1045-9786. 

“I received a lot of support when my son was in hospital overseas for months,” she said. “It is a very common thing in Cayman, when someone is in an emergency situation, for the community to help. I have to give back what the community gave to me.” 

Even in cases where a patient has no health insurance, hospital staff in Cayman provide life-saving care, though officials say it makes it more difficult to get treatment overseas. 

Ms. Perry
Ms. Perry