ST. ANN, JAMAICA: Three years in a coma ...but Atallia Williams's family remains hopeful....Williams suffered a broken neck in three places, multiple fractures to her right leg, a fracture above the ankle of her left leg, a damaged spine and a broken right arm.

BY RENAE DIXON Staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com  Sunday, September 20, 2015    
Three years ago, young Atallia Williams was on her way to her class at the Brown's Town High School when she, along with eight other students, was injured in a motor vehicle accident in St D'Acre, near Alexandria in St Ann. That accident has left the then 16-year-old unconscious.
Reports are that on September 5, 2012, Williams was among a group of Brown's Town High School students travelling in a Toyota Hiace minibus to school when it collided with a truck, killing the bus driver and injuring the students. The driver of the truck, Rohan Stewart, has since been charged with manslaughter and the matter is now before the Brown's Town Resident Magistrate's Court.
Karee Strachan with her cousin Atallia
Williams suffered a broken neck in three places, multiple fractures to her right leg, a fracture above the ankle of her left leg, a damaged spine and a broken right arm. Her spleen was also removed. She was unconscious following the accident, had undergone a number of successful surgeries and had eventually regained consciousness, but unexpectedly became unconscious again soon after.
It has been three long years. However, her family remains hopeful in spite of the challenges.
"I believe with proper medical care she will regain some form of function, because even with no medical intervention she is improving," said a determined mother Nadine Beckett Miller, who refuses to give up on her daughter.
Although it has a difficult journey for the mother, financially and emotionally, Beckett Miller is doing all that she can to help her daughter recover. This time of the year is extremely painful for the mother as it was the start of the new school year only three years ago when her daughter's dreams were shattered. However, she is relentless in her efforts to turn her fortunes around.
Her latest attempt is to get her daughter treatment overseas.
"I am trying to get her into Shriners Hospital for Children. Although she is over 18 they are looking to accept her, but I must be able to take care of her travelling expenses and accommodation here, so that is my problem now.
"I tried getting the funding through Gofund Me, but it is not working out as I only got $10 so far," Beckett Miller said.
The mother is therefore appealing for help to get her daughter treatment overseas.
"She is not in a coma, she is in what you call a locked-in syndrome or a vegetative state. I believe she is aware of what is going on but can't respond. That is why I want to get her overseas for them to do tests that were never done so they will know what they can do after they evaluate her situation," she said.
Caring for Williams is expensive and although she has received assistance from several persons in the past, the need is constant and so she now works overseas to provide for her daughter. Williams has to be fed liquid food which is costly. Beckett Miller pointed out that the food is even more expensive in Jamaica than overseas.
Williams's sister, Courtania Williams, her stepfather Roy Miller and her cousin Karee Strachan are all caregivers to Williams while her primary caregiver Beckett Miller takes up employment overseas to help.
It does not help that the family has not been getting any assistance from the insurance companies with which the vehicles were insured. Beckett Miller pointed out that it has been a challenge for the motor vehicle insurance company to pay any money over to the family and so the family is currently seeking redress through the courts. more

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