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‘I believe that my sister will walk again’

Britney Edgecombe, 32, a mother of one, sustained life-threatening injuries when she lost control of her car and collided into bushes on Earnest Dean Highway on Abaco last week, her sister Telia JnBaptiste said yesterday.

“It happened around 6 a.m., she was on her way to work at the Leonard Thompson Airport,” JnBaptiste said.

JnBaptiste, who is a realtor living in Atlanta, Georgia, said she knew something was wrong when her mother called.

“My mom called my phone around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning and immediately once I saw that it was her and I saw the time I knew something bad had happened,” she said.

Edgecombe sustained severe injuries from the accident and had to be removed from her totaled vehicle with the jaws of life.

She said Edgecombe had a broken collar bone, a fractured spine, a broken arm, fingers, a collapsed lung and a “laundry list” of other injuries. It was only after Edgecombe was flown into the capital, that her family was made aware of the critical state she was in.

“We initially were going to pull together the family before we even knew exactly how bad she was,” JnBaptiste said.

“We had pooled together some of our resources to get her into Doctors Hospital. Before she even got out of imaging, Doctors Hospital called and they were like, ‘Y’all need more money. This is going to be expensive. She is worse than she looks.’”

JnBaptiste added, “She has a son.

“His name is Lazai. I know that is her fight. I know that is the reason why she is holding on.”

JnBaptiste created a GoFundMe account to help save her sister’s life.

“I created the GoFundMe account and I told her story,” she said.

“We raised $33,000 in less than four hours.”

She said that as every minute went by, the price to have her sister transferred to another facility increased.

“[As] she sits, she is more of a risk. Every day, it seemed like the cost was rising by like $50,000. JIPA (Network) said, ‘You’re raising money, but it’s not enough, funds are limited, so here’s another option.’ That’s how we got to Colombia.”

The sister said she reached out to government officials, but they were unable to assist.

When asked how they were able to source more donations in order to have her sister transferred, JnBaptiste said, “After I spoke with the prime minister, I went on Facebook Live and gave an update about that conversation. The donations kept coming in and by the next day, we had enough money for Colombia. Additionally, we had to pay $28,000 apart from GoFundMe for the air ambulance.”

She said she feels motivated about the progress of the situation.

“I’m feeling stronger,” JnBaptiste said.

“Even with the COVID-19 situation, my dad accompanied her to Colombia and he can’t even see her right now. I feel like I’m in a good position to help.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook since Wednesday. I’m constantly on my phone and in my laptop trying to do what I can to keep raising money, to keep donors updated of her status. So, right now, I am in the same seat as everyone else is trying to do what they can from where we are, and that is organizing and making sure the bills are paid from the donations we have received.

“[I] believe that my sister will walk again. What her journey is going to look like? I don’t know. Will it be easy? I know it won’t, but I am going to give her the best chance she can at walking again and having a normal life.”

According to JnBaptiste, four days after the accident, her sister was airlifted to Clinica Del Country in Bogota, Colombia, to save her life.

She raised $202,453 on the GoFundMe account.

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Italia Clarke

Italia Clarke joined the Nassau Guardian in August 2020. Clarke covers national, human interest and social issues. Education: University of The Bahamas, BA in Media Journalism

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