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IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Wounded and worried

MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Wounded and worried

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A YOUNG woman who was shot in the back last year has had her dreams to travel with the Special Olympics team curtailed.

Nicole Layne had been training hard with the team to represent Barbados in track and field but she was stopped last April when someone opened fire at a karaoke session at Lead Vale, Christ Church, where she resides. Police later arrested and charged a man with the shooting.

Layne was sitting on her bed charging her cellphone when she heard a loud explosion and felt a burning in her back.

“I touched my back and when I looked at my hand it was bloody,” the 35-year-old woman recalled.

Terrified, she called family and friends and was transported to the hospital by an ambulance.

But Layne said after being given an X-ray and having the wound dressed she was made to sit in the Accident & Emergency Department for several hours before being informed that doctors could not remove the bullet – it would be too dangerous to do so.

She was referred to a polyclinic for follow-up treatment. A year on, Layne, a former student of the Challenor School, said she has begun to feel the effects of the bullet in her back and she would like to have a second opinion but did not know where to turn.

“If I stand up for long or if I catch the bus and it full and I have to stand up, my back and my feet does start to hurt me real bad,” she cried. In addition, she said she could no longer lie on her back. “I does have to sleep on my side.”

The injury has also affected her training with the Special Olympics team, and Layne is fearful.

“I want to know if it could affect me because I have my mother and my grandmother to look after.”

Her mother, Coral Alleyne, a diabetic amputee, said she too was concerned about her daughter’s health.

Head coach of the Special Olympics team, Roger Dyall, said the injury had definitely affected Layne’s chances of representing Barbados.

He explained that she was a first-time competitor and was training with the team to represent Barbados at the World Games in Los Angeles last year but could not do so because of the incident.

“Doctors cannot operate because it may cause paralysis,” Dyall said.

He said Layne would have to go overseas to get special treatment, a cost she could not afford.

Dyall further revealed that Layne could no longer perform the strenuous exercises because of the pain she experiences.

General practitioner Dr Raymond Forde, who has never treated Layne, told this column that people could live a very long time with “foreign bodies” such as bullets in them.

“Depending on where it is, it may be technical to remove . . . If it is too close to a major nerve or blood vessel, chances are it could cause problems to remove.” he pointed out.

He explained that when foreign objects get into the body sometimes “they are walled off so it becomes like sterile – it doesn’t really affect the person”.

However, he said there were cases where these objects could cause problems – immense pain.

Asked if a bullet could lead to infections, Forde said “it could but invariably it doesn’t”.