Thursday, February 22, 2018

Parents die two days apart

Relatives of victim in Brad Boyce incident...


RUSHED TO HOSPITAL: Nancy and Stephen Johnson.

Mark Fraser


more tragedy: Stephen Van Luke Johnson

Mark Fraser

STILL reeling from the untimely death of his older brother more than 16 years ago, Stephen Van Luke Johnson’s life was struck with further tragedy last weekend when both his parents died in separate incidents two days apart.

Johnson is the younger brother of Jason Johnson, who died after striking his head following an altercation on September 1, 1996 outside the Edge nightclub at Long Circular Mall, St James.

Jason eventually died at hospital on September 16, 1996.

Brad Boyce faced a manslaughter charge but was acquitted by then justice Herbert Volney in the Port of Spain High Court.

The younger Johnson was also at the party when the incident occurred. Now 31, he was a teenager when his brother died.

One of the hardest hit by Jason’s death and the eventual acquittal of Boyce was Jason’s mother, Nancy Johnson. She turned to alcohol to help deal with the pain.

Nancy was suffering with her kidneys and liver for a number of years.

Last week Monday, Nancy, 57, was rushed to Port of Spain General Hospital.

“She took in with a severe pain and had to be rushed to hospital,” Johnson said yesterday.

On the day after Nancy’s admittance to hospital, her husband and Jason’s father, Stephen, 64, was also rushed to the facility.

Stephen had been in and out of the hospital since an accident which left him paralysed on Emancipation Day, August 1, last year.

Stephen fell off a truck, hit his head and damaged his upper spine in the accident. He was left wheelchair-bound.

Stephen had been at hospital under medical supervision until he begged to go home for Christmas. He was allowed to go home until his eventual return last week Tuesday.

Last week Friday around 5.30 p.m., Nancy died.

“We were shocked to hear that she died. I am actually still in a state of shock over the entire ordeal,” Johnson said.

Two days after Nancy’s death, on Sunday around 10 p.m., Stephen died.

“Nobody told him what happened to her but they were always close so he probably knew,” Johnson said.

“Since his accident we were expecting that he would have died but the timing was unbelievable.”

Johnson now has to assume the role of head of the Johnson family.

He lives at the family’s Diego Martin apartment with his uncle Allan, 75, sister Tanya, 26, and five-year-old niece Aleah.

Allan, who is visually impaired, is Stephen’s brother.

“Everyday I have been crying. It is so sad to known how this happened,” Allan said.

The final rites for Nancy and Stephen Johnson are expected to be held in a double funeral service at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in St James tomorrow.