The family of a motorcyclist of Westmoreland, St James who collided with a minibus on Monday is making it clear that rumours of his death are both greatly exaggerated and deeply disturbing.
Nigel Small is currently warded at the Surgical Intensive Care Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in stable condition following Monday’s accident.
However, his mother Eva Small told Barbados TODAY in the QEH waiting area, while she was praying her son would recover fully, she was tired of the rumours of Nigel’s passing.
Small said the situation had become so painful and offensive that family members had to take to social media to attempt to set the record straight.
“A cousin of his had to write something to ask people to stop it. My son is not dead. I don’t know why people saying this. People out there saying that he dead and the family ain’t telling anybody. I don’t understand how people could say these things,” a slightly annoyed Small said as she maintained a vigil at his bedside.
Demi Small, the injured man’s brother, also appealed for an end to the untruths. He told Barbados TODAY those spreading the falsehood were adding insult to the injury of the Small family and friends who were already finding it difficult to cope with the tragedy.
“I hearing a lot of things on the streets. People even calling and asking me if he dead. He is not dead. He will pull through man,” Demi said.
When Barbados TODAY visited Nigel he was asleep – the medical staff said they had given him “something to settle him” – but he seemed restless. Hooked up to machines, he tossed his head from side to side.
“Nigel wake up. Wake up, Nigel,” his mother called as the tossing and turning continued, but he did not open his eyes.
Small said the doctors had informed her they were closely monitoring the brain injury her son had suffered, but they would not operate on him at this time.
They also said, “he should be okay,” the mother of five said.
“He has blood on his brain and his lungs ain’t functioning properly. When I saw him yesterday he wasn’t that bad. He was opening his eyes and closing it back. When you holler for him he was squeezing his fingers,” she recalled.
“It hard because he is in so much pain and I know that he frighten. I was there from the time he come in the hospital and he was screaming and hollering out. He just in shock,” Demi added.
A clearly distressed Small said she did not get to see Nigel often. However, it was just last Friday that they met each other on a minivan. At that time, she said, Nigel gave her a chilling reminder that his own father had died 19 years ago.
“When I get out the van I say to myself ‘it is very strange Nigel say so’. I wanted to know what happen he just jump up and say that. Then Monday his brother [Demi] call me and tell me Nigel get hit with the motorcycle.
“I went down there [QEH] and I hold him and I say, ‘Nigel’, and he opened one eye and looked. He tried to squeeze my finger. All I have been doing since is praying for the best. I mean he went through something hard, but my son ain’t dead,” the distraught mother added.
The accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. on Monday at Salters Road, St George. Police said the 32-year-old cyclist sustained serious injuries to his head and pelvis and had to be transported to hospital by ambulance. The minibus was driven by Deon Carter of Good Intent, St George.