I was in conversation with an elder last week (or maybe two weeks ago) and I don't quite know how we got onto the topic but we started talking about suicide. I was a bit surprised when he said "But don't commit suicide or you will not get a resurrection".
I was wondering where exactly this information comes from. Having recovered from the shock, I have since emailed this elder and got no response. I have looked on JW Org and read a couple of older articles on there, but they seemed to say that it is or was not their place to judge, which i agree with.
So, is there 'new light' on the subject of suicide ? If so where does this new light come from ? And what scriptures back up this 'new light' ?
I will willingly read any recent articles that are passed on to me, as this latest information, if it is true, i find disturbing. I know of many people that have committed suicide, both inside and outside of the Jehovah's Witnesses Organisation.
By JOHN BUTLER
Good morning.... My wife and i sat and watched this musical film 'Les Miserables' on television last night. I could not sit and watch a stage play or stage musical, but I can watch a film musical.
Over two hours long and i thought it was fantastic. Showing both sides of the story, both that thought they were right. Yet showing also man's inhumanity to man.
Ecclesiastes 8 v 9.
"All of this I have seen, and I applied my heart to every work that has been done under the sun, during the time that man has dominated man to his harm."
So many humans on Earth right now. So many lifestyles. So many religions. So many people thinking they are right. So many killing each other for so many reasons.
My brother who is an Elder in a congregation of JW's, says he cannot understand why Jehovah hasn't yet brought Armageddon. He says that it seems that everything has been done and every point proven, so why keep the suffering going on. Some say it is to allow other people the chance to serve God. And all those that die will get a resurrection anyway.
But due to my disappointment within the JW Org I cannot see any religion that is serving God properly. Nor can i see any religion that can prove they have God's spiritual backing.
I don't even know if God's name should be Yahweh or Jehovah or something completely different.
I'm wondering why God allows it to be so difficult to find the truth about Him and about how we should serve Him.
For the sake of a certain person I looked at a website concerning Unitarians, and found it quite amusing. https://www.unitarian.org.uk/pages/unitarianism-explained
Though in fairness I only looked at this first 'page'. But it seems they play it safe by allowing their members to be of 'any religion'. I do wonder if they would go to war and kill each other as Catholics do.
Yes, man's inhumanity to man. How much longer must it go on ?
Take the person seriously and offer your full attention
Stay Calm and in control of your own emotions, fears, or anger
Listen, listen, listen
Show compassion and concern
Be positive and reassuring
Remove the means of committing suicide (pills, knife, gun) if safe to do so
Don't offer advice
Don't say you know how they feel
Don't Agree to keep it a secret
Veterans Crisis Line VCL or Military Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255
A Bosnian Croat war criminal has died after taking poison during the reading of his verdict at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the AP reports, citing Croatian state television. Slobodan Praljak, 72, a former wartime leader, was seen drinking from a small container as he heard the verdict of his appeal hearing.
By Jack Ryan
A 24 old Bethelite woman who was in the last two weeks caught in Brooklyn, NY. Bethel and interrogated for two days for gathering critical, secretive information on the Watchtower Organization and sharing it with a working network of renegade brother Bethelites inside the world headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses.
The young JW sister was disfellowshipped and sent home. It was reported that when she arrived home she was treated terribly by her Jehovah's Witness family and relatives. Shunned and disgracefully mentally abused emotionally took it's toll on her and she committed suicide this week.
A major "WITCH HUNT" is now underway inside Bethel for this elusive, rapidly growing group of doubting brother Bethelites who are now sharing covert information with Six Screens and other critical websites of the Watchtower.
The news of the suicide according to Johnny is very painful to those who were close to her. Johnny was emotionally upset when he reported the suicide this morning.
By Bible Speaks
SUICIDE IS NOT THE ANSWER
Are you depressed?Are you lonely? Â Â Â Â Are you suffering from a relationship break-up? Are you being bullied? Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Are you suffering from a terminal illness?Do you feel like no one really understands your situation? You might be thinking:why not just end it all, after all no one will notice that I am gone. No one would miss me.I want to let you know that It is never too late for you,you are not too far gone,you are not too lost.You can still return to how you once were, to what you once was.Suicide is never the solution.Suicide is never the answer because:
(1)THINGS CHANGES OVERTIME.
Regardless of your situation, things do not stay the same. You may feel very bad today, but it wonÂ’t last forever. The only constant thing in life is change.
(2) THERE ARE ALWAYS OTHER OPTIONS.
Confront a problem, defend yourself, wait for it to blow over.Tell a teacher if you're being bullied. Tell your parents if you feel alone. Take action against it.
(3) EMBRACE THE LOVE.
There are people who love you- even if you don't see it. The world is not against you, even if it feels like it. You are loved. There are people in your life who love you. Maybe they are on the sidelines of your life where you don't often look, but you would see them there if you did. Or maybe you don't recognize the love they have for you. Maybe you're looking for friendly love and are dismissing someone giving you sisterly love. It can be easy to Â miss sometimes, look around. Look intently. You are loved.
You may feel lost and confused, but the answers to your specific problems are out there. The key is that you have to find the answers. The answers to your problem will not come to you. There are ways to get help. You just have to ask for it. Talk to a friend, a parent, a counselor, a doctor, a cousin. A person will not know what you are passing through if you don't say it. Above all pray to Jehovah...
These scriptures can comfort you when you feel depressed and think that there is no way out from your situation.
-2 Corinthians 1:3
Always remember that it is satan that makes a person to feel worthless. Keep fighting and DON'T GIVE UP. For more information on how to cope with depression visit this link.
This post can help save a life.pls share
By Guest Nicole
A FORMER professional boxer was seen acting strangely moments before darting into the path of an oncoming lorry, an inquest heard.
Dennis Harbon, 68, suffered head and chest injuries and died at the scene on the A58 Whitehall Road at Scholes on March 1 this year.
Married Mr Harbon, a retired window cleaner who lived at Mayfield Place in Wyke, had a history of battling depression and his medication had recently been changed, the hearing was told.
Witnesses described seeing him at the side of the road suddenly running and flailing his arms before jumping in front of the lorry.
The inquest in Bradford yesterday heard the lorry driver swerved and braked but was left powerless to avoid hitting Mr Harbon.
Shocked bystanders tried to help him, with one praying for him, until emergency services arrived.
Mr Harbon, a JehovahÂ’s Witness, had been due to go to a bible teaching session that morning but had cancelled.
His wife Amanda Harbon told Assistant Bradford Coroner KirstyÂ GomersalÂ her husband had been having good and bad days in the run up to his death but she had not thought it was bad enough for him to take his own life.
Mr Harbon left three notes of apology at his home which led investigating officers to treat his death as a deliberate act, PC Luke Mitchell told the hearing.
Summing up, Assistant Coroner Ms Gomersal said Â“much-lovedÂ” Mr Harbon had deliberately jumped in front of the lorry and concluded that his death was suicide.
Mr Harbon boxed professionally from 1973 to 1975 at welterweight and light middle weight taking part in 14 bouts.
The Supreme Court of the Democratic People's Republic of Moldova has recognized as extremist the printed materials of the sect of "Jehovah's Witnesses"By bruceq
The Supreme Court of the Democratic People's Republic of Moldova has recognized as extremist the printed materials of the sect of "Jehovah's Witnesses" The Supreme Court of the People's Democratic Republic of Germany adopted a decision on the recognition of extremist printed materials as "The Point of View of the Bible. Has Christianity crashed? "And" Will you follow the loving leadership of Jehovah? ", Published by the sect of" Jehovah's Witnesses ". This today, July 28, reported the press service of the Supreme Court of the People's Democratic Republic of France. According to experts of the National Center of Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice of the DNI, the texts contain information inciting religious hatred, and promotes excellence in the contextual level, "Jehovah's Witnesses" in relation to other Christians. At the request of the General Prosecutor's Office of the People's Democratic Republic of Germany, with representation in defense of the interests of the Republic, the court decided to satisfy the submission and to recognize the materials as extremist, banning their publication in the territory of the People's Republic of China. It should be noted that today the organization "Jehovah's Witnesses" is not banned in the territory of the People's Democratic Republic, but some of the materials it distributes are recognized by the court as extremist.
Source: http://dnr-online.ru/verxovnyj-sud-dnr-priznal-ekstremistskimi-pechatnye-materialy-sekty-svidetelej-iegovy/ | Официальный сайт Донецкой Народной Республики ©
Why did this crash survivor kill herself?
...two years after triple tragedy
The crash that killed everyone, but spared Sewrhoni Mohan.
SEWRHONI Mohan awoke early that morning and prepared a meal for her husband.
As he packed the tools of his trade to head out to work just after daybreak, she told him that while he was gone she would meet her church colleagues to continue the ministry they had been doing in their community.
When he left, she closed the doors and shut out the world.
He came home to find her dead. She had placed a plastic bag over her head and suffocated herself to death.
Why did she do it?
Mohan had survived a car crash that killed everyone in the vehicle less than two years ago.
But while her external injuries had healed, the emotional trauma may have left her with a condition known as “Survivor's Guilt”.
And it probably led her to make the decision to take fate into her own hands.
On May 18, the 38 year old woman lay on her martial bed and placed a plastic bag over her head and breathed her last.
Forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov concluded that there were no signs of foul play involved in the death of Mohan, and that she died of acute oxygen deprivation due to obstruction of the upper airways by the plastic bags put over her face.
“There was not the slighted evidence of an altercation. Her clothing was in perfect order. She was wearing a delicate silk blouse which could have been easily torn, but it was not. Even her fingernails were in perfect condition. Nothing at all to suggest foul play”, Alexandrov had told the Express.
Psychologist Dr Varma Deyalsingh said that Survivor's Guilt can develop when those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) seek to connect with those who died.
“People ask why do they have Survivor's Guilt? It seems it's because it is preferable to blame ourselves for things outside of our control than to accept our situation for which we are completely helpless. Survivor's Guilt is also a way to express the connection with those who have died. It's a method of trying to keep them alive in your mind because of guilty feelings since you survived”.
She was happy
Mohan's husband, Davenand Rampersad told the Express that his wife was a happy woman, but she struggled emotionally after the car crash on November 25, 2015.
Mohan was a passenger in a car which collided head-on into a ten wheeler truck that day.
Taxi driver Anthony Marcano, 54, and passengers Felecia Ali, 41, and Sherwin Constantine, 54, died almost instantly.
Rampersad said his wife remembered nothing of how the crash happened, only that she woke up in a hospital bed with her two legs broken, ribs cracked, bruises and lacerations.
“The accident had a hold on her. She was not the same afterwards. She was depressed knowing that she too could have died. She was depressed because with her injuries she couldn't move for a while. She was very sad for those who died (in the crash), especially Mr Constantine since that was her friend from church. I believe she was sitting next to him in the taxi”, he said. “She said if she had died in the accident she would not have minded. But I used to tell her she shouldn't feel that way, that she should have been grateful that she was the only survivor”.
Deyalsingh said that Mohan may have been experiencing emotional conflict.
“If a close friend or family member died in that crash that is a factor that come into play. There are two conflicting emotions – feeling happy that you survived , and then guilty that the others did not. Once you have two conflicting emotions it is like a tug of war in your brain and that could lead to problems”, said Deyalsingh.
The psychologist said that such stress could lead to a disorder known as Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). “This is where the person would have nightmares and relive the event. Sometimes they are numb, sometimes they can't go near cars, or a certain area. After a month if the person is still having flashbacks then ASD is labelled Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)”, said Deyalsingh. “We find that people suffering from PTSD have a lot of intrusive thoughts where they relive the traumatic event over and over during the day. There may have been a pre-existing problem of depression, and when something else happens they feel overwhelmed”.
Rampersad said while his wife's outward appearance was the same following the fatal crash, something has changed on the inside.
Her smile which attracted him more than seven years before at a convention of Jehovah Witnesses at the Oval in Port of Spain had disappeared.
The couple was married for five years, and according to Rampersad's mother, Radica Rampersad, “he took his time to get married”.
Rampersad said after the crash, his wife was warded at hospital for three months, then stayed at her family's home at Aranguez.
He would often make the journey from Chrysosthom Trace in Mayaro to Aranguez to be at her side.
After a year and a half she moved back to their marital home.
Rampersad said that the crash left his wife with a fear of “big trucks”, but he talked her all the way through on their way back to their home.
But as time passed and he would find her crying, Rampersad knew his wife needed help.
“If I see her crying and tried to talk to her she would push me away, said 'to leave her alone',” he said. “I asked her if she wanted to get professional help and she said 'no'. I asked her sister to talk to her about it. But it didn't happen. But we were doing counselling in church”.
Deyalsingh advised that there are free psychological clinics at health centres, hospitals, private institutions that people can access across the country.
He said that there is also the Community Mental Health and Wellness Clinics at Port of Spain and Barataria where people can seek help following traumatic events.
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
Wanna kill yourself? Imagine this. You come home from school one day. You’ve had yet another horrible day. You’re just ready to give up. So you go to your room, close the door, and take out that suicide note you’ve written and rewritten over and over and over You take out those razor blades, and cut for the very last time. You grab that bottle of pills and take them all. Laying down, holding the letter to your chest, you close your eyes for the very last time. A few hours later, your little brother knocks on your door to come tell you dinners ready. You don’t answer, so he walks in. All he sees is you laying on your bed, so he thinks you’re asleep. He tells your mom this. Your mom goes to your room to wake you up. She notices something is odd. She grabs the paper in your hand and reads it. Sobbing, she tries to wake you up. She’s screaming your name. Your brother, so confused, runs to go tell Dad that “Mommy is crying and sissy won’t wake up.” Your dad runs to your room. He looks at your mom, crying, holding the letter to her chest, sitting next to your lifeless body. It hits him, what’s going on, and he screams. He screams and throws something at the wall. And then, falling to his knees, he starts to cry. Your mom crawls over to him, and they sit there, holding each other, crying. The next day at school, there’s an announcement. The principal tells everyone about your suicide. It takes a few seconds for it to sink in, and once it does, everyone goes silent. Everyone blames themselves. Your teachers think they were too hard on you. Those mean popular girls, they think of all the things they’ve said to you. That boy that used to tease you and call you names, he can’t help but hate himself for never telling you how beautiful you really are. Your ex boyfriend, the one that you told everything to, that broke up with you.. He can’t handle it. He breaks down and starts crying, and runs out of the school. Your friends? They’re sobbing too, wondering how they could never see that anything was wrong, wishing they could have helped you before it was too late. And your best friend? She’s in shock. She can’t believe it. She knew what you were going through, but she never thought it would get that bad… Bad enough for you to end it. She can’t cry, she can’t feel anything. She stands up, walks out of the classroom, and just sinks to the floor. Shaking, screaming, but no tears coming out. It’s a few days later, at your funeral. The whole town came. Everyone knew you, that girl with the bright smile and bubbly personality. The one that was always there for them, the shoulder to cry on. Lots of people talk about all the good memories they had with you, there were a lot. Everyone’s crying, your little brother still doesn’t know you killed yourself, he’s too young. Your parents just said you died. It hurts him, a lot. You were his big sister, you were supposed to always be there for him. Your best friend, she stays strong through the entire service, but as soon as they start lowering your casket into the ground, she just loses it. She cries and cries and doesn’t stop for days. It’s two years later. Your teachers all quit their job. Those mean girls have eating disorders now. That boy that used to tease you cuts himself. Your ex boyfriend doesn’t know how to love anymore and just sleeps around with girls. Your friends all go into depression. Your best friend? She tried to kill herself. She didn’t succeed like you did, but she tried…your brother? He finally found out the truth about your death. He self harms, he cries at night, he does exactly what you did for years leading up to your suicide. Your parents? Their marriage fell apart. Your dad became a workaholic to distract himself from your death. Your mom got diagnosed with depression and just lays in bed all day. People care. You may not think so, but they do. Your choices don’t just effect you. They effect everyone. Don’t end your life, you have so much to live for. Things can’t get better if you give up. I’m here for absolutely anyone that needs to talk, no matter who you are. Even if we’ve NEVER talked before, I’m here for you. Let's see who actually read all of it.
For anyone that feels this way ??
Could 1 friend, please share? We are trying to demonstrate that someone's always listening.
By Guest Nicole
A woman allegedly caused the crash when her SUV drifted into the center lane and hit the van, injuring everyone in the two vehicles, including her own one-month-old son.
After crossing the center line on a road in North Carolina, a woman in an SUV crashed into a church van, causing it to go off the road and flip. All 17 people in the two vehicles were hospitalized with at least minor injuries, the worst being sustained by the woman's own one-month-old son. Photo by Miki Sarabiez/Shutterstock
STOKESDALE, N.C., Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A woman is expected to be charged with driving while under the influence, among other charges, after she drifted into the middle lane and struck a van, injuring 17 people between the two vehicles.
Diadra Rachel Shaffer is expected to be charged with a range of crimes related to her crash with a church van carrying 15 passengers, and with resulted in all of the people involved being injured -- including Shaffer's own 1-month-old son.
The church van, which was heading from Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Martinsville, Va., was traveling southwest on US 158 in Stokesdale when Shaffer's Chevrolet Blazer crossed the center line and hit the white Ford van.
The van went off the road while trying to swerve out of the way of the SUV and overturned while Shaffer's vehicle was still in the middle of the road. All passengers in both vehicles were trapped until emergency personnel got them free.
The 17 passengers were split between five hospitals in North Carolina, with Shaffer herself sustaining the most serious injuries. Of those in the van, one had a serious injury while those of the other 14 people's injuries were minor.
In addition to driving while impaired, Shaffer is charged with careless and reckless driving, midemeanor child abuse, driving left of center and driving with a license revoked.
By Guest Nicole
A husband and wife and their two young children were found dead in their home in Irmo, South Carolina on Wednesday after what homicide investigators called and apparent murder-suicide. Police believe 28-year-old Kia Miller along with their 3-year-old son Kyler and daughter Syrai, who was barely a year old were executed with shots to the upper body by family patriarch and devout Jehovah's Witnesses Sheddrick Byron Miller before he turned the gun on himself. The hellish scene was uncovered after the man's mother, who had not heard from her son in several days, went to their home in the Riverwalk neighborhood around 10 a.m. to investigate. There she discovered the bodies and called police. A spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff's Department told the Charlotte Observer that the initial investigation points to a domestic disturbance prior to the killings. One woman who knew the family told the Associated Press that there was no indication anything was amiss and expressed shock at the tragedy. Authorities say a handgun, the presumed murder weapon was found in the master bedroom near Shedrick Miller's body. His wife, also in the room. The two children were shot dead in their respective bedrooms. Police are still trying to determine the exact time of the murder. South Carolina's homicide rate of women killed by men is the worst in the country, according to a report by the Violence Policy Center in Washington.
By Guest Nicole
Fargo, ND (WDAY-TV) A stolen vehicle has caused lots of damage in the South Fargo area.
Tara Kohn says she and her husband were doing fence repair at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses when they realized their blue pickup truck had been stolen.
They called 911 immediately.
A witness on 23rd Street in South Fargo says he saw the truck run a stop sign, swerve off the road, hit an electrical box, and then hit a parked car on the street.
He says the car then fled.
Police found the pickup at 1519 36 ½ Avenue South in Fargo, in an un-drivable condition.
The person who stole the vehicle fled on foot, and Kohn says police told her they were searching for the suspect with the help of police K-9s.
“So sad to not only lose our pickup truck of many years, but the damage that someone did with this. It's one thing to steal something... but to hurt so many other people. He didn't hurt people but their vehicles and their property,” said Kohn.
If you have any information, you can contact Fargo Police at 701-235-4493.
By Guest Nicole
WASHINGTON — The death rate in the United States rose last year for the first time in a decade, preliminary federal data show, a rare increase that was driven in part by more people dying from drug overdoses, suicide and Alzheimer’s disease. The death rate from heart disease, long in decline, edged up slightly.
Death rates — measured as the number of deaths per 100,000 people — have been declining for years, an effect of improvements in health, disease management and medical technology.
While recent research has documented sharp rises in death rates among certain groups — in particular less educated whites, who have been hardest hit by the prescription drug epidemic — increases for the entire population are relatively rare.
Federal researchers cautioned that it was too early to tell whether the rising mortality among whites had pushed up the overall national death rate. (Preliminary data is not broken down by race, and final data will not be out until later this year.) But they said the rise was real, and while it is premature to ring an alarm now, if it continues, it could be a signal of distress in the health of the nation.
“It’s an uptick in mortality and that doesn’t usually happen, so it’s significant,” said Robert Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But the question is, what does it mean? We really need more data to know. If we start looking at 2016 and we see another rise, we’ll be a lot more concerned.”
The death rate rose to 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, up from 723.2 in 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. It was one of the few times in the past 25 years that the rate has increased. A bad flu season pushed it up in 2005, and AIDS and the flu contributed to a sharp increase in 1993. In 1999, there was a tiny increase.
Experts said the current rise was surprising.
“We are not accustomed to seeing death rates increase on a national scale,” said Andrew Fenelon, a researcher at the C.D.C. who did not work on the paper. “We’ve seen increases in mortality for some groups, but it is quite rare to see it for the whole population.”
He added that it would drag the United States further behind its European peers: “Many countries in Europe are witnessing declines in mortality, so the gap between the U.S. and other countries is growing.”
Others said the finding seemed to fit the broader pattern of rising mortality among working-class whites, a trend that has drawn significant attention recently. Last year, a paper by Anne Case and Angus Deaton documented rising death rates among middle-age white Americans, particularly those with no more than a high school education. Other research has found rising rates among younger whites.
“This is probably heavily influenced by whites,” said Sam Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. “It does sort of fit together.”
Chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease take by far the most American lives, far more, for example, than suicide or homicide, so any change in such causes can have a big effect on the final numbers. Dr. Anderson pointed out that the death rate from heart disease, which had been declining for decades — and offsetting the rises in drug deaths, for example — flattened. That gives other causes of death more of an influence, Dr. Anderson said, as they are no longer being offset by declines from heart disease.
The death rate from heart disease stood at 167.1 in 2015, up from 166.7 in 2014, though the rise was not statistically significant. It was the first time since 1993 that the rate did not decline, Dr. Anderson said.
The death rate from suicides rose to 13.1 in the third quarter of 2015, from 12.7 in the same quarter of 2014. (The last quarter of 2015 data was not yet available for suicides.)
The same was true for drug overdoses, whose data the report had for only the first two quarters of 2015. The death rate for overdoses rose to 15.2 in the second quarter of 2015, compared with 14.1 in the same quarter of 2014. The rate for so-called unintentional injuries, which include drug overdoses and car accidents, rose to 42 in the third quarter of 2015, up from 39.9 in the same quarter of 2014.
The rate for Alzheimer’s disease was also up, rising to 29.2 in 2015, compared with 25.4 in 2014, the continuation of some years of increases. Dr. Anderson said that part of the rise was more precise reporting of Alzheimer’s on death certificates, but that overalldementia-related deaths had increased over time.
Depressed electrician, 36, who plunged 53 stories to his death from West Coast's highest skyscraper committed suicide, coroner rulesBy Guest Nicole
Joseph Sabbatino leaped to his death from the 53rd story of L.A.'s Wilshire Grand Center on Friday The married 36-year-old, who was taking medication for depression, landed on the hood of a passing car below Sabbatino was also found to have removed his helmet and had not been wearing a safety harness A Los Angeles County Coroner has now ruled that Sabbatino's tragic death was a suicide; no note has been discovered Motorist Donna Crockett was hysterical after he landed on her car and said it had 'really taken a toll' on her A statement from Turner Construction says the death was not a work related incident, indication it may have been a suicide
An electrician who plunged 53 floors to his death after leaping from the West Coast's highest skyscraper committed suicide, a coroner has ruled.
Joseph Sabbatino was only on his second day on the job at the construction site of the unfinished, $1billion Wilshire Grand Center when he plummeted 800 feet onto the trunk of a car that was passing below.
Coroner's Lt. David Smith confirmed today that the 36-year-old's death was a suicide.
Sabbatino's father Vance revealed that his son had a long battle with depression and had been taking medication before his death.
His devastated wife Melken Sabbatino wrote on Facebook after his tragic death that she was 'thinking about my husband. Missing you.'
Authorities found that the married Jehovah's Witness had removed his helmet and had not been wearing a harness before the fall on Friday- as he was only contracted to work on the lower levels
Turner Construction has since released a statement to say there had been a safety barrier on the 53rd floor to prevents falls, and that the incident had not been work related. Around 1,000 employees were given the day off following Sabbatino's death.
Horrified witnesses described the moment they saw Sabbatino fall to his death and land on a car below.
James Armstrong III had been walking to a nearby bank moments after the fall said motorist Donna Crockett had been 'hysterical' and waving her hands in the air.
'It's really taken a toll on me, because right now, I'm not strong and right now I am hurting,' Crockett told KTLA. 'It was traumatic, it something that I never thought I would have to see.'
She was taken to hospital after the incident in shock.
Mel Melcon, an LA Times photographer, was on assignment at the building when he noticed the man's body lying 'off the driver's side of the car.'
'It sounded like a bag of cement fell off the edge of the building,' he said.
'No one thought it was a body,' Melcon told his paper. 'We heard no screams.'
The vehicle escaped major damage but the rear side panel was splattered with blood, officials said.
'We have confirmed with (California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health and Los Angeles police) that the incident which occurred at the Wilshire Grand project site on March 17 was not work-related,' a statement issued by Turner Construction read.
Work was shut down Friday and counselors would be on hand for employees, the statement said.
Ed Winter, assistant chief Los Angeles County Coroner, said as far as he knew, there was no suicide note.
Winter said the man, a new employee on his second day on the job, died instantly. The investigation will continue.
Chris Martin, CEO of Martin Project Management, which is supervising the construction, said there were barricades around the edge of the building and other safety measures in place.
All of the building's 891 workers had undergone training, Martin said.
'There's safety training for every worker on the job, and certain locations there's very specialized training. So these are all smart people,' Martin said. 'We had no injuries up to this date.'
When asked whether there might have been any electrical work that needed doing near the edge of the building, Martin said there wasn't.
The paper also reported that there was an eight-foot-high 'integrity fence' in place to keep workers and equipment from falling off the tower.
No tethering harness was seen on the man's body, although employees are required to wear one when working.
A construction worker who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity said that he saw the man's body, and initially thought the woman had run him over.
'We asked the driver: 'Did you run this man over?' She said no,' the worker said. 'That's when I knew he had fallen off the building.'
He added that when he returned to the building he found a hard hat with the dead man's employee number on the 53rd floor.
Maurice Lopez, who works at the neighboring Bonaventure said he was saddened to hear that someone working on the building he watched go up for years had died.
That's crazy. Usually when you walk by here, you see the guys up there attached to something,' Lopez, 50, of Los Angeles told the LA Times. 'Now I'm gonna feel sick walking by here.'
This is the first accident to happen at the location, the Times reported. There were around 850 workers on the site as of last week.
The Wilshire Grand Center is located on South Figueroa Street, at one of the busiest intersections in the city. The man's fall resulted in disruption to traffic flow.
Upon completion, the $1billion skycraper, which has been under construction for two years, will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi. It will reach a height of 73 stories and will be 1,100 feet tall, including a 100-foot spire.
It is expected to open early 2017.
Family and friends paid tribute to the 'sweet' man with a 'good heart' that was always so full of life.
Susanne Dean wrote on Facebook: 'Joseph was very sweet and made us laugh and we had some good times with him...my boys thought he was so cool to invite them over to play video games and just hang out.
'He was full of hope and life. That is the Joseph that we will remember.'
Eric Mutuc added: 'Joseph was a friend of mine when we were children. He had a good heart, and although he may not have ever known it, I loved him like a brother.
Jerron Ragan said: 'Rest in peace Joseph Sabbatino. You were always a good friend. I'll miss you.'
JW Electrician Falls to His Death from Tallest Skyscraper West of the Mississippi - Probable SuicideBy Jack Ryan
An electrician in just his second day of work at the downtown Los Angeles Wilshire Grand construction site fell 53 stories to his death Thursday, striking a vehicle and prompting an evacuation of the building.
The man, who was identified Friday as Joseph Sabbatino, 36, of Palmdale, struck the rear of a woman’s car on Wilshire Boulevard around noon, according to Sgt. Barry Montgomery, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman.
Turner Construction, the company that manages the building site, said late Thursday that the worker had no reason to be above the third floor. In a statement, the company said safety protections were not a factor in the fall.
“We have confirmed with CalOSHA and LAPD that the incident which occurred at the Wilshire Grand project site today was not work-related,” the statement said.
“After an initial on-site investigation, Cal OSHA has confirmed that no fall-protection violations were observed. Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased. We are also sending our deepest sympathies to our loyal and dedicated workers, for whom today’s tragedy is deeply saddening.”
L.A. Times photographer describes moment when worker plummeted to death at Wilshire Grand hotel
The building project will shut down Friday “to honor our workforce and out of respect,” and counselors would be available to help workers through “this very difficult situation,” the statement said.
Witnesses along Wilshire Boulevard, who said the man did not appear to be wearing a safety harness or hard hat, heard an impact and turned to find the man’s body near the vehicle.
“We asked the driver: 'Did you run this man over?' She said no,” said a construction worker who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity. “That’s when I knew he had fallen off the building.”
The woman in the vehicle was taken to a hospital, said Montgomery, who described her status as stable.
Times staff photographer Mel Melcon was at the construction site on assignment when he heard a loud thump and saw the man’s body lying near the driver’s side of the car.
“It sounded like a bag of cement fell off the edge of the building,” Melcon said.
The man who died had been working on the tower’s 53rd floor, which does not yet have windows. However, the floor is outfitted with an eight-foot-high “integrity fence” — a metal barrier intended to keep construction workers, building materials and tools from falling out of the tower. Safety nets have also been hung to catch falling objects at some of the building’s highest points, but the man fell from a floor below those.
Chris Martin, head of the architectural firm that designed the building, said the construction site was shut down after the man’s death. He said there would have been no reason for him to be doing electrical work that close to the edge of the building.
“We extend our condolences to the family and wish them well ... in a tragic situation,” Martin told reporters Thursday afternoon.
Neither Montgomery nor Martin would say if the man was wearing a safety harness. A spokesman for Cal-OSHA said the man was an employee of Irvine-based ASSI Security. The agency has also launched an investigation into his death.
The man’s death prompted an immediate shutdown and evacuation of the tower, as construction foremen were asked to conduct head counts of the on-site staff. The process took about an hour, said Dave Snodgrass, an operator of a construction elevator.
Martin said the project had a workforce of 891 people this week. No one had suffered a serious injury at the site until Thursday’s incident, he said.
News of the man’s death stunned onlookers who milled around the police tape blocking traffic along stretches of Wilshire and Figueroa Street. Police erected a white tent in the middle of Wilshire next to the woman’s car, which sat idle in the roadway with its passenger door open.
Maurice Lopez, who works outside at the nearby Bonaventure, has watched the building rise slowly over the last two years. He said he was disturbed to hear someone working on the project had died.
“That’s crazy. Usually when you walk by here, you see the guys up there attached to something,” said Lopez, 50, of Los Angeles. “Now I’m gonna feel sick walking by here.”
Reached by telephone Thursday, Michael Willey, owner of ASSI Security, said the company had been notified of the employee's death but was not yet prepared to comment.
Upon completion, the 1,100-foot Wilshire Grand tower will be the tallest structure west of the Mississippi. The $1.2-billion hotel and office project is scheduled to be completed next year.
News of the man’s death shocked workers, who have been on site for almost three years and recently celebrated the tower’s “topping out.”
Some workers said the death recalled bad memories from the Las Vegas construction boom in the early 2000s. Many had worked along the Strip in that time, when 12 workers died in 18 months.
Times staff photographer Mel Melcon contributed to this report.
Last November the Mormon church issued new rules about homosexuality labelling those in same-sex relationships as apostates who can be excommunicated. Children of gay couples are now required to leave home and repudiate their parent's relationship before they can be part of the church.
At least 32 gay Mormon youths have killed themselves since the announcement of the new policy, and there’s been an alarming increase of suicidal teens and twenty-somethings in the church....
By Jack Ryan
This video will be played at the CLAM meeting of March 21-27
Use Insight When Comforting Others: (15 min.) Discussion. Play the video that the elders viewed at a recent Kingdom Ministry School. Then invite comments on how the two brothers were a good example of how to give encouragement when someone expresses anguish over the death of a loved one.
SHOT AND PARALYSED: Pregnant woman miraculously survives mysterious bullet; now battles for life and justice
In a private ward at a physiotherapy centre in Tema, Benita Dankwa scrolls through her photographs on a Samsung tablet. The 29-year old lady does so with a pang of nostalgia because the gloomy Benita Dankwa holding the tablet is a shocking impersonation of the breezy Benita Dankwa in those photographs. The lady looking at the photographs is not the same as the woman in those photographs.
They differ in many ways.
“This is not how I was,” she says, showing more photographs of her former self to make a point. And she is right. This is not how she was.
The woman in the photograph is full of life. She is a charming beauty. The woman in the photographs is smiling. She is standing. She is walking. She is posing. She is working. The woman in the photograph is enjoying life. That woman has a “loving” husband, 33-year old Effort Dankwa. And she looks forward to a beautiful family.
“I had dreams of a sweet husband, having me alone as the wife. No other person… having our kids, just jumping around and all that. But it never happened that way,” Benita says.
Indeed, there is a world of difference between the cheerful woman in the photographs and the low-spirited woman now looking at the images – her former self. However, they both bear the same name – Benita Dankwa. That is where their similarities end.
The gloomy Benita Dankwa on the hospital bed is different from the breezy Benita Dakwa in the photographs
The Benita Dankwa on the hospital bed is paralysed from her chest downwards. Dr. Francis Caiquo of the Tema General Hospital explains that, in a layperson’s language, it means that part of her body is “dead.” The only reason it is not rotten is because of blood circulation, he says.
Apart from her hands and head, the Benita Dankwa on the hospital bed cannot move any part of her body. Those parts don’t belong to her any longer, or rather, they do but she has lost control over them. She cannot feel any sensation there.
The Benita Dankwa on the hospital bed cannot pass out urine. She cannot empty her bowels. A urinary catheter is attached to her urinary tract. It is emptied periodically by her 54-year old mother, Mrs. Agnes Yirenkyi, or anyone who is present when it is full. Benita also wears diapers to contain the involuntary discharge of faecal matter. That’s not all the woes of the woman on the hospital bed.
When Benita lifts the cloth covering the lower part of her body, huge plasters covering her bedsores are exposed. She has large bedsores on her buttocks and on her hips. The Benita Dankwa on the hospital bed has swollen feet. She is bedridden. And she needs someone to bathe her and turn her from time to time to enable the bedsores heal.
The woman on the hospital bed is also anaemic. Doctors at the Tema General Hospital say her hemoglobin (blood) level is 6.1, half what it is supposed to be. The ideal level is 12. Hers dropped to 4 and has risen to 6.1 through medication. The low hemoglobin level hampers the healing of her sores. She also stands the risk of a heart attack because of her low blood level.
“I miss many things because now I can’t do anything,” says Benita. “I miss walking. I miss working. If I could walk, I can do anything.”
On a bed beside Benita’s hospital bed lies Nana Kwame, Benita’s four month-old baby. Benita was supposed to be taking care of him and changing his diapers. But Mrs. Agnes Yirenkyi, Benita’s mother, now does all of that. She changes the diapers of her four-month old grandson and 29-year old daughter, the first seed of her womb.
“This family is going through severe pain and suffering,” Agnes Yirenkyi speaks of the agony of the family since they received a dreadful call on the morning of Saturday, August 29, 2015, that Benita had been shot.
THE SHOOTING OF BENITA
Life for Benita Dankwa, a supervisor at Asky Airlines, was an auspicious one until the sun of her bright future set on Friday, August 28th 2015. She was seven months pregnant, the first pregnancy of her four years’ marriage. That evening Benita had closed from work and was watching television when her husband, Effort Dankwa, a teacher at Angels International School in Tema, arrived.
“Everything was okay at home,” Benita recalls. Her husband took his bath and went to bed. She also went to bed later. When she woke up at about 5:30 am, she felt like a “balloon.” There was a “hole” on her chest and another one at her back.
She had been shot.
According to a report by the Tema Community 11 police, their investigation “revealed that the victim (Benita Dankwa) was shot from a close range at her chest and the bullet penetrated through her body and was rushed to the hospital for treatment, but no point of penetration or breakage into the couple’s room was detected.”
The report continues: “A live ammunition believed to have been shot from a pistol at close range was found about 2 inches deep in the mattress [on] which the couple were lying. Blood stains believed to be human blood was also found on the bed sheet and the mattress of the couple.”
Benita was in the room alone with her husband, Effort Dankwa. When she woke up, her husband was still sleeping. When she woke him up, “he was feeling as if he was confused, running up and down and all that,” Benita recounts.
“He didn’t shout. He didn’t do anything. Because I was feeling like a balloon, I thought he could not carry me so I asked him to call… there were two boys on the compound… so I asked him to call them so that one could go for a taxi so that one could help carry me to the taxi,” Benita narrates what happened when she opened her eyes that morning.
One of the young men who went to help Effort carry Benita to the hospital is John Asaah. John lives in the same compound. His room is about five metres away from the Dankwas. At about 3a.m. of Saturday, August 29, 2015, John said he heard a gunshot that was “too loud” and appeared close to the house. “It didn’t take hours and I heard my friend call me to come and help him to take his wife to the hospital.” That friend was Effort, Benita’s husband.
Crime Scene: This is where Benita and Effort lived.
According to John, Effort did not give him the impression that Benita had been shot.“He was coming as if nothing had happened. ‘Oh Johny, wifee no dey feel fine oo. Go bring me taxi,’” John quotes Effort asking him (John) for help in casual pidgin English.
“You won’t even know that something like that had happened,” John tells myjoyonline.com.
John says if he had known that it was a shooting incident, he would not have entered the room to help. Effort, he says, did not mention any shooting even as they sat in the taxi and headed for the hospital.
“The husband didn’t tell us anything. All that I knew was that the wife was pregnant so I thought she was about to deliver.” John says when the taxi driver asked what was wrong with Benita, he (John) said it was her first pregnancy. Benita’s husband, who was also in the taxi, did not mention that his wife had been shot. John says Benita was first taken to the maternity ward of the Tema General Hospital. He says the first time he realized Benita had been shot was when a nurse at the maternity ward interrogated the husband and he said it was a gunshot.
“The nurse asked the husband to show her where the gunshot was and he opened the dress on the chest and I saw a hole on her chest and some small blood,” John says. The nurse told them gunshots were not treated at the maternity ward and so referred them to the accident centre. At the accident centre, doctors at the Tema General Hospital realized Benita had a spinal injury so they referred her to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
THE PRIME SUSPECT
Prime Suspect: Effort Dankwa,33.
According to Benita’s father, Mr. S.O.S Yirenkyi, Effort refused to report the shooting of his wife to the police. “We did all we could but he would not go to the police,” says Mr. Yirenkyi. “He said this was a domestic issue involving a husband and wife so there was no need to report it.” Later in the day, Bright Ofori, Benita’s 25-year old brother went to the police station to report the incident.
“If you are with your wife in the room and you wake up to find out that she has been shot, should you not be the first to report to the police?” Mr. S.O.S Yirenkyi, Benita’s 68 year old father asked.
John says when he returned from the hospital that day, he went round the house and tried to locate any form of penetration or break in but there was none. “We even took chairs and climbed onto the roof to see if there was anything from the roof, but there was nothing to show that maybe the thing was coming from armed robbers,” he says.
When this reporter visited the house, he found that the windows and the doors had mosquito nets and wire mesh. They were covered with curtains so if anybody wanted to shoot from outside, they would have had to cut through the mosquito net and wire mesh, shift the curtains aside before they could locate their target. But all the mosquito nets at the doors and windows were intact.
“Me, I can say that the thing (shooting) happened in the room,” John emphasises. “If you want to know the truth, then it will be [between] Benita and her husband who know what happened.”
“There were two people in the room. One person was shot. Police investigation revealed that the shot was not from outside. So who fired the shot?” asked, Mr. S.O.S. Yirenkyi, Benita’s father. “I suspect Benita’s husband shot her,” he alleged.
Benita also shares the same view. She believes her husband, Effort, shot her.
On September 15, 2015, more than two weeks after the shooting incident, the police arrested Effort Dankwa for investigation. He has denied shooting his wife.
On September 16th and 30th 2015, the police also arrested one Ernestina Dede Lagbeneku, who confirmed being in a relationship with Effort Dankwa for the past five months. The two of them were cautioned and bailed “pending further investigations.”
“For now, fingers are pointing to a certain direction, but because investigations are still ongoing we cannot confirm. But then, questions are coming up and answers are coming up,” Tema Region Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Juliana Obeng told Myjoyonline.com.
“The question now is: who did it?” ASP Juliana Obeng asked. “Let me give you an example: If I were with you alone in the house and I wake up to have some injuries on my body and I find some other things in the room that have to do with blood stains and there are no other persons in the room, and nobody came to the room, then your guess is as good as mine.”
The police PRO, however, says they cannot draw a conclusion now.
Criminologist and Dean of the Central University College Faculty of Law, Professor Ken Agyemang Attafuah agrees with the police that based on the facts surrounding the case, Effort Dankwa “is a legitimate person for the police to consider as the prime suspect.”
THE BLOODSTAINED TOWEL
Mr. Yirenkyi said in the panic and the desire to save Benita, the family took certain pieces of evidence for granted because it never occurred to them that the one who shot her could be someone in the room with her. One of such pieces of evidence was a bloodstained towel that Effort allegedly asked Benita’s cousin to throw away.
Priscilla Asare, 25, was sent by her mother (Benita’s aunt) to fetch a stove at the crime scene (Benita and Effort’s home) to be taken to the hospital. This was on Wednesday September 2, 2015, four days after Benita was shot.
“When I got there, Benita’s husband said I should tidy up the room. In the process, I found a towel stained with blood, the blood had dried up. When I told him (Effort) about the towel, he said I should throw it away,” Priscilla explains.
When Priscilla took the towel home and told her mother about it, she asked her not to throw the towel away. “My mother said I should wash it for her so I did.” Priscilla said she was also the one who washed the bloodstained bed sheet on which Benita and Effort lay when the shooting happened.
Benita says when she opened her eyes that morning, there was not much blood on her body. John has confirmed this. He said Benita wore a white night gown as they took her to the hospital and if there was any blood on her, he would have seen it before they got to the hospital.
Benita at work
Benita says when she opened her eyes, she did not see her husband wipe any blood from her body so she was surprised when the towel soaked with blood was used on her. A woman who lives in the house and was present when the police first entered the crime scene also tells Myjoyonline.com that when they entered, there was very little blood on the mattress and the bed sheet. She wondered if there wouldn’t have been more blood had there been a gunshot.
“I think he shot my daughter and cleaned all the blood before my daughter became conscious,” Mr. Yirenkyi suggests. “He thought my daughter had died, but God saved her.”
Criminologist Professor Ken Ataffuah says this is possible. “From the report, a neighbor heard a gunshot around 3am. It was not until at about 5am that this woman complained of pain and asked her husband for assistance. She possibly was in coma for a while or she had been chloroformed. There is evidence from what you [this reporter] tell me of a towel that contained blood and that towel ought to be taken to the police forensics for investigation.”
A SOUR MARRIAGE?
Benita met her husband nine years ago. They are both members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses sect. And that’s where they met. They dated for five years and were married for four years before the tragedy struck.
Benita says their marriage was without problems. If there was any problem, it was the suspicion of infidelity on the part of her husband. Benita’s mother, Mrs. Agnes Yirenkyi, says she once mediated one such misunderstanding that arose when Benita returned from work one evening to find her husband in their room with a woman whose pictures and suggestive messages she had seen on his phone. She says the lights were off and when she knocked, Effort did not open the door immediately. Benita said he denied having anything to do with the lady but when she sent an insulting message to the lady in question, he was livid.
A police report signed by ASP Owusu Dwomoh, Tema Community 11 Crime Officer suggests that Benita was sharing her husband with another woman. The report states: “It was established during investigation that the suspect Effort Dankwa who is legally married to the victim was also in another amorous relationship with one lady called Ernestina Dede Lagbeneku alias Christine Dede and had been going out to places like Prime Beach Resort at Prampram and Cocoa Beach Hotel at Nungua, Accra, to relax and make love. It was also revealed that while the suspect’s wife, victim Benita Dankwa, was at the hospital panting [fighting] for her life, the suspect had the presence of mind to engage in love conversations via WhatsApp, a social network, with the said Christine Dede.”
The police report says when “suspect Christine Dede was arrested and interrogated, she confirmed being in relationship with the accused, Effort Dankwa, for the past five (5) months.”
Benita has revealed that while they were courting, Effort once mentioned that he did not want any children in their marriage but she “took it for a joke” until they got married and he repeated it. “When we got married, I started worrying him with kids and he started declining and all that. Fortunately, or if I should say unfortunately for him, I got pregnant,” she stated.
When times were good: Mr. and Mrs. Dankwa
She says he never said anything bad about the pregnancy and no issue ever came up until she delivered. Sources close to the church say there is a group of people within the Jehovah’s Witnesses who have made up their minds not to give birth because they want to dedicate their time to the “preaching of the word.” Benita is aware of this but says her husband is not part of that group.
Benita was delivered of the baby by a caesarian section on September 9, 2015 after 31 weeks. She says when she delivered, her husband started raising issues about the paternity of the baby. “He says the baby is not his,” Benita says.
According to Benita, a gynaecologist once attempted to have sex with her when she visited the hospital, and when she got home, that was the first thing she told her husband. She said her husband did not raise questions about the pregnancy but when she delivered he used that as an excuse to say that the doctor may have impregnated her.
Benita’s father, Mr. Yirenkyi, believes the pregnancy is the reason Effort Dankwa wanted to kill his daughter.
“We decided to call the child Nana Kwame because he is a male born on Saturday. We are still waiting for the father to come and name him,” Benita says.
BENITA’S HOPES AND FEARS
Today is Sunday. It’s 9.00 am. At the Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tema Community 11, the congregation is singing a hymn. They are standing, except one woman at the back. That is Benita. She sings from her wheelchair standing next to her father and mother. In a baby cradle front of them, Nana Kwame, Benita’s four-month old baby, lies smiling. Nana Kwame is both oblivious about the teaching on today’s judgment day and the reason her mother now sits behind the congregation. After some time, his grandmother picks him up and begins to feed him with a milky liquid in a feeding bottle.
Benita and her parents in Tema Community 11 Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses
One medical doctor has described her safe delivery as a miracle. “Maybe God has something special for that child,” the doctor says.
After the worship, Benita’s brother helps her out of the church. Before she is lifted into the car, she is interrupted by well-wishers from the congregation. This is where Benita met Effort nine years ago. For the past four years, they came to church together. On Sunday mornings, she fixed breakfast. And he drove her to church.
That changed when Benita was discharged from the hospital. She did not return to their matrimonial home. For now, the Physiotherapy centre is her new home. She says her husband has never visited her there. “He asked me not to call him again so I have stopped calling him.”
She relies on the benevolence of her father and friends to bring her to church. Today, her father and a family friend lifted her onto the front seat of her father’s wine pick up vehicle. When they parked, they lifted her onto the wheelchair and wheeled her into a space behind the congregation reserved for her. She often meets her husband, Effort, in church.
“I often see him from afar,” Benita says. When asked whether he also sees her in church, she says she cannot tell. The congregation is not a big one. It is sub-divided into English and Akan sections. Both Benita and Effort worship at the English section, and looking at the size of the congregation, it would take a lot of effort from Effort not to notice the presence of his wife in the church. But Benita does not yearn for his presence.
Benita being lifted into a vehicle by his father and a family friend
“Anytime I see him, my heart begins to beat,” she says. But it is not the heartbeat of love. Since the shooting happened, she’s been living in fear. At the physiotherapy centre, her bed has been repositioned. Out of the fear for her life, she is “hiding” in the corner. She fears whoever wanted her dead could shoot from the window directly facing where she used to lie. One of the persons she dreads most is her husband.
This Sunday, January 24, 2016, however, her husband is not in church. She has been informed that two days ago, the police arrested and detained him. How did she receive the news?
“I won’t say I am sad about it. It is something that has to be done,” she shrugs.
Some have described Benita’s survival as a miracle. The happy marriage and family she hoped for has now drifted from reality to a faint imagination. But her greatest hope is to be able to get back on her feet and walk again.
Dr. Francis Caiquo of the Tema General Hospital thinks the chances of reversing her paralyses are very slim. The medical report from the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital states that she had a “complete spinal cord injury (T3 sensory level).”
“It will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse her condition,” Dr. Caiquo says.
Benita’s blood level is very low but her religion forbids blood transfusion. Dr. Caiquo who saw her at her last visit to the Tema General Hospital says that impedes the healing of her bedsores and also has the potential of causing heart problems.
When asked whether she has hopes of getting back to her former self, Benita bursts into tears. “I think it will take a long time, but I have hope.”
“It’s rehabilitation that she needs most. She needs a physiotherapist, a psychologist… her hands are okay. If the wounds heal, I am sure she will be able to hold her baby, take care of one or two household chores,” Dr. Caiquo recommends.
“We hope the Lord has something for her,” he adds.
Editor’s note: Joy FM’s investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, spent weeks speaking to parties involved in this story, their family, friends and neighbours, as well as the police, medical doctors and a criminologist. He also spent time with Benita at the physiotherapy centre and followed her to church. Apart from the scenes he personally observed, all other facts presented in the story are from the interviews, police and hospital reports even when no direct attribution is stated.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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