IN ONE NIGHT, 22-year-old Malisa Crichlow lost her left arm and her precious two-month-old daughter Jakayla.
Now, ten months later, the pain of losing both still weighs heavily on her.
However, this incredible young woman still manages to smile and joke with her mother Deniese Prescod despite the pain in her left shoulder and in her heart. Crichlow, of Eastlyn, St George, said this was because her boyfriend Jason Holder, Jakayla’s father, and her mother stood by her throughout her ordeal.
“My boyfriend and mum support me completely; they are the only assistance I have,” she told the DAILY NATION recently during a visit to her home.
Crichlow said the National Insurance Scheme and her insurance company told her they could not help her and she was still awaiting word from the Welfare Department.
Prescod had some harsh words: “Nobody is helping her. None of them, the politicians, have come to look for us; they only come when they want votes.”
Prescod said she was glad her daughter was in relatively good health and was trying her best. As for herself, she said she was “hanging in there”.
Holder was unwilling to speak. Crichlow said that in some ways, she was handling their daughter’s death better than he was.
“We’re there for each other but I consider myself stronger than him because sometimes just mentioning her name [upsets him].”
Crichlow said she had little memory of what happened that fateful night, last April 21, the day before Good Friday, when the ZM van she was travelling in collided with a parked trailer in Lower Estate, St Michael.
In addition to Crichlow’s daughter, the accident also claimed the life of 17-year-old Akalia Weir.
Crichlow was in a group heading home from St James when the accident occurred. They were carrying foodstuff for a picnic the family had planned for the Easter bank holiday. The ZM van was driven by Troy “Shabba” Clinto of Brereton Village, St Philip. He escaped serious injury.
“I just remember leaving home to go to the shop, then leaving the shop to go back home. This whole thing just got me studying what really happened,” Crichlow said.
She has been trying to keep her spirits up as she could not “just keep crying all the time”.
Despite the tragedy and difficult times, Crichlow has much to look forward to as she proudly told the DAILY NATION she was pregnant once more and she and Holder were thinking about getting married.