Monday, January 22, 2018

‘Siblings reliving ordeal’


TRAUMATISED: Jerrell de Freitas, the eight-year-old brother of baby Javier sits on a chair outside the charred remains of his family’s Sea Lots home playing with an action figure yesterday.

Mark Fraser

THE SIBLINGS of the three-year-old boy who was killed during a blaze that destroyed his family’s Sea Lots home, keep jumping up out of their sleep in the middle of the night and behaving as though they are on fire.

So said Brian de Freitas, the father of baby Javier, who was killed on May 28.

De Freitas made the statement yesterday as Minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development Vernella Alleyne-Toppin visited the family.

Alleyne-Toppin said the State will provide counselling to the family among other services.

Javier’s mother, Bernadine Hepburn, and De Freitas have been staying at a relative’s home, while most of the other children are staying at their aunt’s home.

Hepburn is a mother of 13.

The houses where the parents and the children are staying are walking distance from each other and also the site where the fire occurred.

“Most of them by their aunt and she said she has to get up every night because they getting up and dusting their skin like they feeling like they still getting burnt, so they hardly sleeping when the night comes,” de Freitas said yesterday.

He said despite the trauma, “God is in charge”.

De Freitas said because of the circumstances surrounding baby Javier’s death, he felt God had a special mission for the youngster.

“God in charge at the end of the day, he is in charge of everything and apparently he found something for that little boy to do and that is why he take him because everybody else got rescued and he run and hide,” de Freitas said.

“He run and hide and that is why the mother could not reach to him. Even if I was home.....because I working security. I working nights and if I was home and all I could not rescue him, because he run and hide, when the mother was calling him he was not answering her. She called everybody else, everybody else say ‘yes mammy’ and she got out everybody else except him,” he said.

“That alone make me know that God has something planned and in store for him and now is the time to take him. Say what, God is the boss,” de Freitas said.

De Freitas said he is trying to be the “strong one” for his family.