The family of Jessie Perry has been left devastated after the 21-year-old burn victim passed away Monday night in Jamaica.
Ms. Perry, the mother of a 3-year-old son, succumbed to her extensive injuries at the University of the West Indies Hospital where she was being treated for severe burns from a car crash in Grand Cayman a week earlier.
Close family, including her mother, were at her bedside when she died. Her uncle, Junior Sinclair, said the news hit hard for her family and friends in Cayman.
Mr. Sinclair, who is 23 and was close friends with his niece, said, “I was looking at the pictures this morning and it brought tears to my eyes. She was only 21. She didn’t get to live her life.”
Jessie’s aunt, Jacqueline Ebanks, said she received a call from her brother in Jamaica with the bad news on Monday night.
“We knew she was very ill; we knew she was severely burned and it was going to take a miracle, but we still hoped she would pull through. I guess it was just her time.
“Our faith helps us through. We know that God is good and that he has a plan. All we can do is pray. It is all up to him.” She said her niece, known as Julups, was kindhearted and very popular. She had a 3-year-old son, Leon.
“She is going to be really missed in Cayman and back home in Jamaica. She didn’t die from lack of love,” she said.
Mr. Sinclair said Jessie’s accident, one day after her 21st birthday, was a shock to everyone who knew her. He said she would be sorely missed.
“She was really fun to be around and very kind. We used to go out together all the time. We would laugh because people always thought she was my girlfriend, I would say ‘no, that’s my niece.’”
Ms. Perry was employed as a domestic worker in Cayman and lived in Windsor Park, George Town. The accident sparked a community-wide effort to raise money to pay for her medical treatment.
Ms. Perry suffered burns over 80 percent of her body when the car she was traveling in hit a curb at a bend in the road near Public Beach on Sept. 14. The car flipped over and the fuel line ruptured, igniting the vehicle, police said at the time.
The driver, who suffered burns over 20 percent of his body and remains in hospital, was re-arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving on Tuesday. He was initially arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and is on police bail.