It’s hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago when the collapse of an apartment complex in Arch Cot, Brittons Hill, St Michael sent chills down the spines of Barbadians.
The island had waited with bated breath as efforts were made to find members of the Codrington family who were living in the two-storey complex when it caved in on August 26, 2007.
Doniya Codrington, then three months old, was the daughter of 27-year-old Cassandra Codrington; 30-year-old Donavere Codrington and the sister of Shaquille, Shaquanda and Yashiro who all perished in the tragedy.
Fast forward to May 21, 2017, and the bubbly ten-year-old was all smiles and laughter as she celebrated her birthday at Cricket Legends. Dressed as her favourite Disney princess, Elsa from Frozen, she expressed her joy and gratitude to those who had planned and sponsored the event.
Thankfully, that fateful morning does not ring constant in her memories, and Doniya has grown up to be a confident and cheerful child.
However, for her grandmother, Shirley Linton, the memories are still fresh. She is painfully aware of her daughter’s absence, especially around Doniya’s birthday.
“It is hurting me a lot . . . Because her mother isn’t around, and her father, to see her. It is heartbreaking every year when it comes to her birthday [and] I remember them and the terrible tragedy that happened in Barbados,” she said.
But the 55-year-old thanks God for sparing her granddaughter’s life and wishes for her to see many more.
Over the past ten years, she has assumed the role of mother for not only Doniya but also her second grandchild, Catara Linton. Following Cassandra’s death in 2007, another daughter, Zanelle Linton, died of heart failure in 2014. The matriarch has taken both motherless girls under her wing and raised them in her New Orleans, St Michael home.
However, Linton, who is suffering kidney failure, feels the national tragedy has been forgotten by the public.
“It is unfair to know that this terrible tragedy happened and it looks like everyone has turned their back on me and my grandchild,” said an emotional Linton.
To honour the lives of the loved ones she lost in the cave-in, Linton will hold a memorial service at Restoration Ministries on August 27 – one day after the ten-year anniversary of the catastrophe.