Adrianna wants to be burn-unit specialist
WESTERN BUREAU: ADRIANNA LAING, the sole survivor of the devastating fire that took the lives of her three brothers, is set to return to Jamaica today, six months after heading to the United States for emergency medical care, and she has big plans...
ADRIANNA LAING, the sole survivor of the devastating fire that took the lives of her three brothers, is set to return to Jamaica today, six months after heading to the United States for emergency medical care, and she has big plans for her future.
Sitting comfortably inside the shiny red jet that had airlifted her to the United States, Adrianna expressed surprise that she had survived such an ordeal, although she cannot remember being transported in the aircraft in which she curiously touched the gurney she was being treated on and felt the equipment used to nurse her.
She admitted to having doubts about her capacity to recover to a satisfactory state so that she would not have to depend on others as she is an independent person.
“When I was in Atlanta, it was very hard because I did not have any strength, and I could not do anything for myself. When I was doing therapy, not going and doing what I was supposed to do, I felt I would not live,” Adrianna told The Gleaner.
With little hope, it was when Adrianna went to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston, Massachusetts, that she gathered more strength and responded positively.
In a sit-down interview with The Gleaner in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Tuesday, the composed teen, dressed in pink – her favourite colour – spoke about the harsh realities of losing her brothers, nine-year-old Adrianno and seven-year-old twins Jorden and Jayden, in the September 2022 inferno.
“They were very good brothers to me. I really love them. I still cannot believe they are gone, and I did wish that maybe about even two or one of them would be here,” said Adrianna, who, momentarily, got emotional.
Today, the 13-year-old, who had 26 surgeries on the way to recovery, has aspirations “to become a burn doctor one day”.
As it relates to her dream of seeing a burn unit established in Jamaica, Adrianna wants to devote some of her time and effort to making it a reality so that in the future, children like her will not have to go overseas for treatment.
“It is important to me because some of the children that got burned felt down in spirits, and that’s how I felt. In case someone got burned and they [need urgent care], they wouldn’t have to be transported to the United States of America, but they could stay in Jamaica and be treated,” said Adrianna.
Dr Delroy Fray, clinical coordinator for the Western Regional Health Authority, recently announced that an improved and modernised burn unit would be among several services offered at Cornwall Regional Hospital once restoration work at the St James-based facility has been completed.
Additionally, a 10-bed burn unit is expected to be installed this year at the state-owned St Joseph’s Hospital, which will operate as part of the Kingston Public Hospital’s surgical department, and will serve as the main adult referral burn facility in the southeast region.
In the meantime, Adrianna is extremely excited about getting back on Jamaican soil, looking forward to visiting family, friends, and the school she attended before the fire that changed her life.