An apparent attempt to drive himself to hospital to get treatment for an asthma attack ended tragically for a young, ambitious Christ Church man this morning.
Troy Akeil Small, of Rollins Road, Goodland, became the island’s third road fatality for 2018 when he died in a single-vehicle accident along Oistins Road around 2 a.m.
“It appears he had an asthma attack . . . [as] they found the asthma inhalers in the vehicle like they were being used, but he didn’t make it down [to the hospital],” Troy’s distraught aunt, Shirley-Ann Small, told Barbados TODAY.
She said her 24-year-old old nephew suffered a major attack a few years ago and was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
She also disclosed that this was not the first time he had taken it upon himself to drive to the hospital.
“He has had asthma all his life. A couple years ago, he was in the hospital in the ICU and he pulled through. I think that was about 2013/2014, and he happen to pull through. So every now and again he gets one. He has to go to the hospital when it comes on, or when he starts to feel the wheezing.
“This is the second time that he would have done that (driven himself). We spoke to him about it before but I guess he doesn’t like to bother people, especially at that time in the morning, so he got up and tried to make it on his own and unfortunately he didn’t,” the young man’s aunt said.
The close-knit family got the devastating news around 2:15 a.m. And as they stood in the yard close to Troy’s crashed Suzuki Ignis, which was covered by a white tarpaulin, Small said they were trying to come to grips with his death.
“As you would know, death is never easy, especially when it is unexpected, so it came as a shock to everyone,” she said.
It is a loss which will no doubt leave a lasting gap in the family, as Troy was described as one of the “good boys”.
“Troy was a very nice person, a nice boy as people like to say, but he was one of the nicest boys around—very helpful and willing to do anything for anybody,” Small said as she fondly remembered her nephew who was raised by his grandparents.
She added that not only was Troy a wonderful individual, but he was also enterprising and very disciplined.
“He formed his own small business last year—a carwash business at Lanterns Mall, Upper Level Auto Valet. He was a member of the Barbados Cadets when he was at Parkinson School and he rose to the rank of Sergeant. Then he was in the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), the Reserves, so he was a very disciplined individual and committed person.”
Not only was his sudden death difficult for the family but also for his friends in the neighbourhood where he grew up and has lived all his life.
From his grandparents’ house just around the corner, a Barbados TODAY team met up with some of those friends at Buco’s workshop.
“Young, striving, productive; just think good things, and that’s Troy,” said Buco, who got the sad news from his sister this morning.
“I liked him like a son. It’s a shock to me all now . . . . Troy is a proper boy and he will be missed by me and all the men around here, nuff people. I never hear two people speak bad about Troy yet; never!” he declared.
Buco said he could not condemn the young man for trying to drive himself to the hospital, as he would probably have done the same in similar circumstances, given the time of morning.
Another friend who did not give his name also sang Troy’s praises.
“Troy is a very ambitious young man, hardworking, very dedicated, disciplined, would do anything for his friends. Troy is a good boy, man,” he said.
The deceased, who last worked at his business yesterday and trained at the BDF last evening, leaves to mourn a one-year-old daughter, his parents, a brother, and two sisters.