Boy who lost arm triumphs at CSEC

Dakari Jordan

Dakari Jordan who endured a challenging life after being badly burnt after he came into contact with a GPL wire in 2004, was successful at this year’s sitting of the CSEC exams having secured eight Grade Ones and four Grade Twos.

He attained Grade One passes in Mathematics, Biology, Social Studies, Human and Social Biology, Physical Education, Physics, Chemistry and Electronic Documents Preparation and Manage-ment (EDPM). He secured Grade Twos in Spanish, English A, English B and Information Technology.

Nigel Hughes the attorney who had filed a lawsuit on his behalf several years ago offered his congratulations to the child via Facebook.

A post on Hughes’ Facebook page stated that Jordan was only an eight year old St Gabriel’s Primary student when he was badly shocked and burnt by an exposed GPL electrical wire outside of his school on the 19th February 2004.

Jordan at the time was playing on the parapet of Oronoque Street, Queenstown, when he touched an electrical post and was knocked unconscious.

“Not only was he knocked unconscious for forty five minutes but he flat lined for ten minutes”, Hughes said in the post while adding that Jordan had to undergo six long surgeries, including medical treatment in Trinidad.

As a result of the accident he lost his entire right arm from his shoulder onwards.

GPL initially refused to compensate him and “we were forced to commenced proceedings against them. The hearing commenced before Justice Claudette La Bennett. GPL eventually settled”, the post said.

According to the attorney, the child’s circumstances were further complicated by the fact that he lived with and was raised by his mother who was seriously ill.

“Despite their most challenging circumstances his mother, grandmother and the entire family at Hughes, Fields and Stoby adopted and supported Dakari”, it was stated.

The Christobel Hughes foundation helped pay for his tuition at Guyana Educational Trust College.

Jordan it was explained lost his mother last year after a long and difficult medical battle.

“We salute and congratulate you Dakari and know that your mother is smiling. We salute Mr. Samuel Tross and his team at Guyana Educational Trust for an outstanding job”, Hughes said.

Calling the child’s success a story of triumph against formidable odds, the attorney urged him to continue on the path of excellence and to be a “true example of triumph over adversity in the most challenging of circumstances”.


Stabroek News reprints below an abridged version of the December 16, 2004 report that had been carried on Dakari Jordan

Seven-year-old Dakari Jordan was once the average mischievous child, but all that changed after one unfortunate day in February. He is now confined to the house and rarely speaks.

Timid, is how the once perky boy is now described and in constant fear of being quizzed about his singed condition, he walks around with his head dipped. Grieved at the fact that he cannot attend attend his school, St. Gabriel’s Primary, Dakari passes each day miserably in his Da Silva St, Kitty home.

It was on February 19 when the young boy was playing a game of `catch ya’ with his friend after school was dismissed for the afternoon. The game was in full swing and Dakari was running to avoid being tagged when he bumped into a lantern post from which exposed wires were dangling. Within seconds of the collision the child suffered electric shock, resulting in severe injuries to his body. He was knocked unconscious and was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospit-al.

What followed was a double amputation of Dakari’s right arm; first, second and third degree burns; five surgeries; skin grafts, blood transfusions and hospitalisation from February 19 to July 2004. The child can no longer attend the school where he had excelled in academics. His mother, Ava McKenzie was forced to leave her job to care for the child since he was unable to cope without much attention.

In an interview with Stabroek News, a distressed Ava said she has endured so much since the incident, including watching her son go from an outgoing child to a frightened person who has shut the world out.

“It would pain any mother to see her child just withdraw and stop talking to people. To hear him say that he is often questioned about his appearance when he goes out hurts very much. I can’t handle the person that he is now, knowing that he was such a jovial child who had a promising future ahead.”

Ava said she has lost a significant amount of weight since she made the decision to stay at home and look after Dakari. She is forced to maintain a strict diet for the boy who can no longer eat just anything. As of now, Dakari’s diet includes lots of juices, milk and meat, and his body requires the daily required intake of multivitamins. According to his mother, it has been hard to maintain the diet and also pay for home schooling.

Ava said she pays a teacher by the hour for daily sessions. However, the boy’s mental capacity has been affected by the incident and he can only take two hours of classes a day.

Her main focus now is to have him receive special treatment overseas. The University of Miami/ Jackson Memorial Medical Centre has indicated its willingness to treat Dakari, but the family must be able to deposit a fee of US$400,000 before he is accepted to the hospital.

The mother said she was made to understand a short while after the incident that the wires on the post that electrocuted her son were left exposed by Guyana Power and Light (GPL). She said the company did not acknowledge responsibility for what happened to Dakari, so she took them to court. Through her lawyer, Nigel Hughes she was able to obtain an interim payment of $1M from the power company. However, the sum only covered certain expenses. Ava said she is not interested in winning any huge amount of money from GPL, instead what she wants is their pledge to pay the hospital bill for Dakari to go overseas.

However, Ava said she has so much to be thankful for. She said the name, Dakari means “Thank you” and she has been able to praise God for sparing the boy’s life. According to her, Dakari would just start screaming at the top of his lungs because of the intense pain heat that still emanates from his body

During the interview with his mother, Dakari stood nearby listening. At one point, he said he prefers to keep to himself. He then declared that he has dreams of being a fireman and hopes to someday save people from a burning building. Despite his one arm, the child feels he can still be of some assistance in the fire fighting profession.


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