Burn victim flown to US for surgery

MOUNT SALEM, St James — Nicola Clarke, the woman who was doused with a flammable substance and set ablaze by a jealous spouse last week Wednesday, was airlifted to the United States late yesterday afternoon to receive reconstructive surgery, skin grafting, and other treatment.

Robert White, managing director of Sanmerna Foundation, the organisation that made the overseas treatment transfer possible, said his organisation got involved after seeing the story.

“Sanmerna Foundation had seen the story about a jealous boyfriend who doused his girlfriend with gasoline and set her afire. It hurt us so badly that we jumped into action and we can say today that action paid off,” White told journalists shortly before Clarke was picked up at Cornwall Regional Hospital by an AmbuCare ambulance and taken to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay where she was placed on a Trinity Air Ambulance.

“We can only give the support and try to help her to overcome what she is going through,” he added.

Clarke’s mother, Lolita Scarlett, expressed gratitude for the assistance.

“I can’t even explain how I am feeling because even this morning I was crying and my daughter said to me, ‘Mommy, don’t cry, just hold the faith and believe in God’,” Scarlett related after learning that hurdles that had put doubt on her daughter’s travel had been cleared.

“Her condition is very bad because the whole of her skin burned off. She doesn’t have any skin like mine, all of her skin burned off because it is gasoline, you know, and then he light her. So, she is badly burnt. She can talk, she can eat, and she can drink,” Scarlett said.

The accused man, who had been named as a person of interest by the Area One police, was accosted by cops on Saturday when he showed up at Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital in Westmoreland for treatment to burn injuries he had received.

He is yet to be charged by the police for the incident.

The police that around 5:00 pm, Clarke and the man had an altercation at her business establishment in Great River on the border of Hanover and St James. He reportedly left and returned with the flammable substance, which he allegedly used to commit the grievous assault.

Clarke, who was engulfed by flames, escaped from the burning building with the assistance of residents who took her to hospital where she underwent treatment.

Yesterday, White made an appeal to men in the country.

“I call upon the men to find some kind of way to solve their problems and not to abuse the women like this,” he said.

Additionally, he said his foundation is currently in dialogue with an international partner to help repair the Burn Unit in Jamaica. “We are trying to get this to start and Sanmerna is leading the charge and we are going to ask other private sector companies to join,” he said.

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