St. Lucian Cub Scout injured in accident returns home

Seated at front L to R; Delia Finistere, Nick Omari Joseph and Minister Henry. At back L to R; Francisca Charles, Ramsay Ali and Zaida Jaoquin.

Eight year-old St. Lucian Cub Scout Nick Omari Joseph departed for home on Sunday along with his mom, Delia Finistere, the Scout Association of Guyana (SAG) said in a press release on Monday.

Joseph received serious injuries following an accident on July 26 on Woolford Avenue, in the vicinity of the Scout Association of Guyana (SAG) Headquarters. Fellow St. Lucian Cub Scout, nine year-old Darnell Matthews, was also injured in the accident. He was treated for minor injuries and sent away.

Joseph had sustained a fractured skull and injury to his lung as a result of being submerged after being hit by the vehicle.

Quick action by a team of doctors saw his condition being stabilized within hours of the accident and the Cub Scout has been recovering gradually since that time.

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Hon. Nicolette Henry, President of SAG and Chief Scout, Ramsay Ali, SAG Chief Commissioner, Zaida Joaquin and friend of the Joseph family, Francisca Charles, were all at the Ogle International Airport to bid Joseph and his mother farewell.

Joseph’s mother emotionally extended gratitude to all who played a role in his recovery, noting she was extremely happy to be returning home with her son.

In brief remarks, Minister Henry said she was happy that Joseph’s condition has improved to the point that he is now able to return home. She said she was also pleased that the Cuboree continued after the unfortunate accident, without further incident.

“We will continue to be in touch with Nick’s family to the extent that we would like to be informed as to his full progress in recovery from this accident. I trust that the whole exercise here in Guyana was fruitful for all of the scouts that participated from the various countries,” she said.

The St. Lucian contingent at a parade held during the Cuboree
The St. Lucian contingent at a parade held during the Cuboree

SAG President Ramsay Ali said the reaction from the Government of Guyana immediately after the accident was “extremely positive” and this, he believes, contributed to saving the child’s life.

“To the doctors and everybody who was part of this whole process that brought us here on behalf of the Scout Association; I am extremely grateful for their support and I want to thank them,” Ali stated.

Ali said the surgery Joseph underwent for his head injury was very successful, according to the doctor who performed the procedure, but the injury sustained to his lungs were of more concern to doctors.

“What kept Nick in hospital for a longer period was in fact; some damage was done to his lungs because he actually spent about three and a half minutes under water and that was a little bit of a concern to doctors in the first five days. This was treated and he responded very well,” Ali pointed out.

Ali emphasized that government ensured the best medical care was provided to Joseph, which was critical in the first five days of his hospitalization.

Joaquin, who was performing the duties of Camp Chief of the 14th Caribbean Cuboree at the time of the accident, said while the incident was extremely unfortunate, it served to bring the members of the scouting fraternity together. “The positive is that as a Scout Association…we all bond together as a family and that is a positive; not only for scouting but for this country as a whole. We bond together to make sure that Nick had the best care and that his mom had the best support. Scouting is really a family. If people can recognize that as scouts we can live as family, I think all other human beings can live as family. Because of this process I believed that is what held his mother up because we were in daily contact with her providing support and also Nick…,” she pointed out.

Joaquin said she will be visiting St. Lucia in October to follow up on Joseph’s recovery in her capacity as a representative of the Inter-America Scout Region.

Joseph was among 1,000 Cub Scouts gathered in Guyana for the Cuboree, at the time of the accident.