Negril Mourns The Death of a Young Rising Star

On August 10, 2012 at approximately 5:10pm, eighteen year old student Leshawn Grant was struck down by a speeding car as she left the Travellers Beach Resort Hotel where she had been interning. Unfortunately, there were no ambulances, emergency medical services, or hospitals in Negril to serve the thousands of residents, and the hundreds of thousand of visitors that come to Negril annually. Approximately 20 minutes later, after the accident, the police arrived at the scene and transported Leshawn in their police vehicle to the Savanna-la-mar hospital, which is 45 minutes away. Leshawn died on route to the hospital.  

Ms. Carol Hale, the mother of Leshawn, wept bitterly lamenting not only the tragic circumstances of  her daughter’s death but the lack of an medical emergency system that could have saved her only child.   
Leshawn’s death has intensified the movement of the Negril community and Winston Wellington, Chairman of the Negril International Hospital & Wellness Center, to push for the construction of a hospital in Negril. Chairman Wellington is outraged that if Negril had a hospital or even a working ambulance, Leshawn’s life could have been saved, lamenting that this brilliant, honest, respectful young woman and future leader of Jamaica, one of Negril’s rising stars, had left the community so tragically.   
“Why is there no hospital in Negril?” Chairman Wellington asked.

“Why is there no working ambulance in Negril?” he reiterated.

“This death could have been anyone’s daughter, mother, or family member”, he said.
More than 3.07 million people visited Jamaica in 2011, an 8.4 percent increase from 2010. (source, Jamaican Tourist Board) Throughout the years, Chairman Wellington has witnessed members from the Negril community and tourists suffer many unnecessary deaths and injuries. When coupled with the more than three million tourists that travel to Jamaica annually, the inability to respond to cases of medical emergency, or a disaster situation is a very serious matter.   

On September 2, 2012 Leshawn’s funeral arrangements will be held at the Sheffield Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sheffield. May Her Soul Rest in Peace. It is hope that Leshawn’s death will become a seed of change, opening the ears, eyes, and hearts to those in power who can make change, thereby ensuring that her death was not in vain and the cries of the Negril people are answered.  
Please join us in an appeal to help the people of Negril build its hospital.