An overseas-based Guyanese woman, who fractured her pelvis and leg last December after she jumped through a window in a bid to escape bandits, is slowly moving on with her life.
Shirley Bisnauth was unable to walk and had to be transported back to New York (NY) on a stretcher after being hospitalized at the New Amsterdam Hospital and then at the Balwant Singh Hospital in Georgetown. Her husband, Ravi Bisnauth came to Guyana to accompany her home and she was taken straight to a NY hospital where she remained a patient for about two weeks.
Shirley and her three brothers from New York and Canada had visited to perform a religious function for their father who had died the year before, when four armed bandits, three of whom were masked, stormed their Canefield, Canje home on December 10.
The bandits terrorized the siblings and robbed them of an undisclosed amount of local and foreign currency, jewellery, a Canadian passport, a valid driver’s licence and some chocolates. Other relatives who had gone to the house to “help out” were also stripped of cash and gold jewellery.
Shirley panicked when she saw the bandits and jumped through the window. She landed on her feet on the concrete but had then fallen backwards, injuring herself. She was then unable to sit up straight.
This newspaper recently visited the home where the family was attacked and Padmini Sirkissoon, Shirley’s niece, said it wasn’t until May that her aunt had been able to resume her job as a teacher at a private school for young children. She said Shirley had been bed-ridden and had had to undergo physiotherapy and then she still could not move around without the aid of a walker.
Shirley’s brother, Khemrai ‘Chico’ Sirkissoon had told this newspaper that his brother Clement and an uncle had been sitting downstairs around at 3 am when they heard loud tramping on the road. Before they realized what was happening the bandits had accosted them. Three of the men carried handguns, while the other bandit had a ‘big’ gun. The bandits tied the two men under the house and gagged them with pieces of cloth. One of them kept guard downstairs while the other three barged through the open door, ran upstairs and confronted Shirley and 10 other occupants. It was at that point that the woman panicked and jumped out of the window – a decision that has changed her life.
Though she was unable to move and was screaming in pain, the bandits dragged her back upstairs and forced her to hand over money and jewellery she had in her possession. Padmini said the incident has left her aunt highly traumatized and she had no intention of returning to Guyana – at least not in a hurry. “She said she came so many times and this never happened