PORT OF SPAIN – Doctors at the San Fernando General Hospital have opted to leave the metal pellets in the neck and leg of two-year-old Candy Loubon, who was among three people shot during a family dispute in Moruga on Saturday.
As Candy lay peacefully on a bed at the paediatric ward of the San Fernando Teaching Hospital yesterday, her mother Cassie Fonrose explained that because the pellet was so close to her spine, doctors decided they would wait to see if her body would push it towards the surface.
“The way this bullet is located close to her spinal cord, they did not want to interfere with it. Because it is so close, if they only touch it (spinal cord) it can do more damage. It can cripple or kill her. They said they want it to move away from the spinal cord and then they will see if they can operate or wait for it to eventually come out for itself,” Fonrose said, saying she was praying everything would go well.
Fonrose said she was told if Candy was standing any closer to the gunman she might have died. She said one doctor told her it could take up to three months before the pellet can be removed. The pellet in her left leg also remained. It was the same leg that broke in September when a regiment vehicle crashed into their family car. It was only two weeks ago that Candy completed her rehabilitation at a clinic. Her father, Jamie Loubon, lost his arm in that accident.
According to reports, Candy’s cousin, Wendell Mike, 31, who had a long-standing dispute with the suspect, went to the family’s property to tend to a garden. It was then the suspect picked up his 12-gauge rifle and fired a shot at Mike. Mike was hit in the head and shoulder while Shane Lemo, 26, another cousin, was shot in the leg. Paramedics removed a pellet from Lemo’s leg while Mike had to be taken to the hospital. Yesterday, Fonrose recalled that Paul with sitting in their yard holding her one-year-old son Jamieson at the time of the incident.
“When I heard the explosion, I saw her (Candy) drop on the ground but I did not think she got shot. I thought it was just the fright that had her like that,” she recalled.
“I picked her up and started to quarrel when I saw my cousin in blood. I told him (suspect) that I was going to call the police. When my husband came downstairs, he said ‘Aye! Look Candy has a hole in her neck.’ I went crazy.”
Meanwhile, the 63-year-old relative responsible for shooting Candy and her cousins has not been found. Following the shooting on Saturday morning, the suspect ran into the forest at the back of his house and has not been seen since. Southern Division Task Force, Moruga Police and the Canine Unit had gone in search of the suspect but only recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting.
Fonrose said villagers had joined the search for the suspect yesterday.