Little Xavier Bertrand was treated to a surprise unlike any other today –– after a harrowing ordeal last weekend that left him nursing a gunshot wound to the head.
The Barbados TODAY’S team and corporate sponsors of its community outreach programme Today’s Touch, bearing gifts, paid the nine-year-old a visit at his Clapham, St Michael home this afternoon.
“We just came to ensure that you were feeling well and happy. A lot of people who read our paper were very concerned about you,” BT Chief Executive Officer and Editor-In-Chief Kaymar Jordan told Xavier.
With his mum Asha Payne, dad Augustus Bertrand and brother Nequon Springer at his side, Xavier was treated to a number of goodies from several of the company’s partners –– gifts aimed at making his stay at home a little easier.
“We talked to some of the lovely people that we work with. They just wanted to give you a few surprises, because we know that you are not going to be able to go back to school in the short term, so that you can be comfortable,” Jordan explained.
From Chefette, Xavier received a ball, piggy bank, pencil case, colouring book and a number of vouchers, with which he admitted he would purchase rotis, his favourite Chefette meal.
Woolworth gifted him with some games, while Health Smart Pharmacy sent over a voucher for medical supplies to help his family with his expenses.
The family will also get to relax on a cruise, compliments of BT chairman Peter Harris and Jammin’ Cruises.
And although Saturday’s ordeal left the Westbury student fearful of going back into The City, he bravely promised Cave Shepherd’s Duty Free Caribbean brand manager Kay Richards that he would do so to get some books from Pages.
“We were very touched by your story as well as your unfortunate circumstances on your trip to town, and we want you to come back to town without any fear. So Pages, through Cave Shepherd, has given you some gift certificates that you can come in and select some more books and school supplies, and things like that, on your next visit to town,” Richards said.
The family was about to enter a store on Swan Street to purchase Xavier’s outfit to attend the Sandy Lane Gold Cup when the incident occurred.
On hearing of his dreams of becoming a “champion jockey, even better than Patrick Husbands”, managing director of Prestige Accounting Inc., David Simpson, and employee Tamita Griffith gave the aspiring horseman a book on his favourite sport.
However two of the gifts of the afternoon that had Xavier all smiles, and which he said would be shared with his brother, was a Samsung tablet from Pro Sales, and a bicycle from a partner who did not want to be named.
“We just want you to relax and do little things that children like to do, because we know you went through a traumatic experience,” Jordan explained.
Xavier and his family sent their thank-yous to all for their generosity.