Nurse loses leg in freak accident

February 23, 2023
Dionne Simmonds
Dionne Simmonds

Although she lost her right leg following a freak accident last Saturday, a St Catherine nurse is thanking God for sparing her life.

Dionne Simmonds, 52, was exiting an ABM (Automated Banking Machine) along Brunswick Avenue in Spanish Town when tragedy struck. A white Toyota Axio slammed into the ABM's front door, pinning Simmonds. She said her life flashed before her eyes when she saw the motor car heading in her direction.

"I went into shock for a while because when I let go off the door, I realised that I couldn't stand up on my own. The foot was injured, it was chopped several places and just a little skin was holding it," said the 20-year public healthcare veteran. She described her emotional state as "not good".

"Tuesday in the evening about 5 p.m., reality hit me. I was trying to get up off the bed to see if I could help myself, but I didn't make it. I fell, and after I fell and realised what happened, I started crying because it was then that I realised things were never going to be the same. But I am trying to cope," she said.

Simmonds, who has three sons, said that her eldest is also recovering from a horrific crash that occurred last December in the Cayman Islands, where he resides.

"He was in a coma for two weeks. He is just readying to come back on his feet following the accident as well so I have a lot on my plate. He is in the stage now where they'll teach him how to walk again," she shared. Simmonds said she was also worried about the well-being of her parents, especially her father.

"I have two loving parents at home who I care for, along with my sister. They are always jovial and laughing but from the incident happened, they are not happy, especially daddy. Me and my daddy are very close. I had to call him the other day and tell him that I love him and him must not worry to send up his blood pressure," she said.

Her sibling, Tricia Manning, was at her bedside. She shared that she spoke to Simmonds merely an hour before the incident.

"Then I got a call later in the evening that she was in an accident and her foot was broken. But I didn't know the severity of the injury until Sunday morning when I got another call to say the foot really bad and it had to be amputated," she said.

"I went to the police station the next morning to get a better understanding of what had happened. She [the driver] saw me and heard me asking the officers about the incident. She said, 'I was the one who hit her' so I looked around. She was very apologetic and started crying," Manning said.

Simmonds said that she is already conditioning her mind to adjust to her new reality.

"Since the latter part of last year, I made a U-turn and asked God to take charge of my life. I am so thankful to be alive right now despite what has happened. I am happy to have my sister here beside me and the staff here treat me very well. They call, they check in on me and sometimes I have to say to them, 'Don't come now because I need the rest'. My mom always say to me, 'Anything you are doing, do it good and done'. She also said I must always do all the good that I can and I have always done that and that's why I believe I am getting good care now," she said.

"I meet up on all kind of patients some who have been in this same situation and I have to talk back life into them. Now it is my time to do that for myself. I have the support and my faith in God is unending," she added.

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