‘A MIRACLE’: Ryan Rampersad at his home yesterday. –Photo: AYANNA KINSALE

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RYAN GOES HOME

One year later...Sea Lots accident victim continues recovery

By Gyasi Gonzales gyasi.gonzales@trinidadexpress.com

SEA LOTS resident Ryan Rampersad cannot yet walk, he has to be cared for constantly and he does not have money in his hand, but he appears to be the happiest man alive one year after his life changed forever in an accident that claimed the lives of three other residents.
A smiling Rampersad said yesterday he had forgiven the man who was driving the car that struck him that morning.
“I forgive him. Every night I ask God to forgive him, because if I didn’t forgive him then God would not have forgiven me,” he said.
Sea Lots yesterday remembered the tragedy of Sunday, February 24, 2013, when a Toyota Corolla driven by Police Constable Sherwyn Legere slammed into a group of Sea Lots residents as they stood on the pavement off the Beetham Highway.
Killed were Haydee Paul and her two daughters—eight-year-old Akasha and Shakira, seven, while of the injured, Rampersad suffered the full force of the impact and for months lay in an almost vegetative state at Port of Spain General Hospital.
He was not even expected to survive.
On Friday, however, he was released from hospital in St James, where he had been transferred last year.
Rampersad sat in his wheelchair in the porch at the home of his grandmother, Vero James, who is known in the Sea Lots community and at Port of Spain General Hospital as “Granny”.
“Everybody round here does call me ‘Granny’, even in the hospital,” she laughed.
James admitted she was the only one who visited Rampersad regularly and now she runs a small parlour from her home to help with his medical expenses, including pampers and medication.
Rampersad said because of his recovery he had a new appreciation for everything.
“Listen, if you don’t help yourself, God would not help you,” he said.
James added: “He is doing so much better now and on Tuesdays and Thursdays he goes for therapy, and right now we are awaiting an operation that would allow him to walk.”
Rampersad continued: “I want to be an example to people and let them know it have a God and we must trust him and my dad is God.”
He described his own recovery as a miracle. “I know I would have been dead and they said that I was 99 per cent paralysed, but you must not give up on people just so. And them, my family, my Sea Lots neighbours, them never gave up on me, and I want to thank all of them for praying for me and giving me my strength.”
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