INJURED: Ryan Rampersad

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CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

Sea Lots accident victim Ryan Rampersad home and talking

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

In what can be described as a Christmas miracle, Sea Lots accident victim Ryan Rampersad laughed, held his children, and cried tears of joy as he spent Christmas Day at home yesterday.
On February 24, Rampersad was one of six persons injured in a tragic accident where off-duty police officer Sherwin Legere ran over pedestrians, claiming the lives of Haydee Paul, 28, and her two daughters, Shakira, 7, and Akasha, 8.
Rampersad, 21, is the father of two young children — daughter Naomi, 3, and son Nyron, 1.
Since the accident, Ryan had been hospitalised in a vegetative state at Port of Spain General Hospital and then at St James Medical Complex.
In June, this reporter visited Rampersad at the hospital and his condition was alarming. His entire body was riddled with bed sores, which were infected and oozing. His left ear was in a decaying state and his prognosis was poor, in that there was little hope of him leading a normal life.
Rampersad was unable to breathe on his own and a tracheotomy tube (plastic breathing tube) had been inserted into his neck. He was also paralysed from the neck down, was not able to eat on his own and had to be fed through a tube in his stomach.
There was an outpouring of love, prayers and support nationally and internationally for Rampersad and his family.
Yesterday, those prayers were answered.
The Express visited Rampersad at his grandmother Verro James’s humble home in Sea Lots, where his present condition, compared to a few months ago, would leave anyone in awe.
Rampersad was lying on his grandmother’s bed with both his children at his side. He affectionately touched the face of his daughter and smiled.
A man who was unable to utter a word was now wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Express: Merry Christmas, Ryan.

Rampersad: Merry Christmas.

Express: Are you happy to be home?

Rampersad: Very happy!

Rampersad, who had been receiving rehabilitative treatment at St James Medical Complex, came home on Christmas Eve to spend the holidays with his family. He will return tomorrow to the hospital, where his treatment is ongoing.
When questioned by the Express, Ryan said that he cannot remember anything about the accident. Although his speech is slurred and soft, he remembers his children’s names, the names of his neighbours and loved ones, and also how to spell his name.
Tears flowed as his mother Pearl James broke down as she said her Christmas wish came true with her son’s return home.
“God is in charge at the end of the day, God has the last say,” said James.
And Rampersad started crying as he saw his mother weeping.
“Don’t cry, Ryan. These are tears of joy. This is the best Christmas for us because you’re here,” Pearl James told her son.
Rampersad’s grandmother, Verro, was also moved to tears, saying that her plea to God was answered.
“I want to thank everyone who prayed and supported Ryan from all over the world. I always said that Ryan will come along and, one day, he will walk again. In time, I am sure Ryan will walk again.”
Rampersad’s family paid special tribute to Dr Peter Poon King and Rampersad’s therapist, who have been the main driving forces behind his miraculous recovery.
Rampersad enjoyed a Christmas meal of rice, chicken and macaroni pie, with a Supligen drink, as his aunts and cousins doted over him and he affectionately blew kisses at them.
While there was much joy at Ramperad’s home yesterday, the moment was bittersweet as his wife Sally Ann no longer lives with the family.
The Express was told that she had taken her two children and moved to her mother’s home in Belmont. However, she brought the children to spend a short time with their father yesterday.
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan told the Express that Rampersad’s case was one of the most positive news stories of the year.
The Minister added that this shows that people do not need to seek international help for treatment to recover, as he praised the North West Regional Health Authority and the staff at St James Medical Complex for Rampersad’s recovery.
Persons wishing to lend financial support to Rampersad can make a contribution to Scotiabank account 4001523.
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