A family under siege: targeted by gang members

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By Elesha George

“Me nah care nuttin ‘bout no underage,” were the words of a frustrated mother who had just discovered that her two younger children had been threatened by suspected gang members on Wednesday, September 11th, 2019.

After days stationed at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC), monitoring the progress of her eldest son, Jahhym Azoo, Ordiel Furlong was greeted by news that her 12-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter were being shadowed by two of the alleged gang members that had brutally beaten Azoo last Thursday, September, 5th 2019.

“My son and daughter went to school today. I was at the hospital with my son just after 1:00 p.m., ‘cause my son supposed to go do a next surgery. Two boys out the gang went up by the school for my 12-year-old and my 16-year-old daughter.  They were standing by the corner and my daughter spot them but a girl run back and tell them ah dem dem come fa, my son and she.”

Furlong told OBSERVER that her daughter managed to evade the boys and ran to her at the hospital but when she went back to the school, they boys were gone. The mother said she decided to make a report at the Grays Farm police station.

At about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, when the mother spoke with OBSERVER outside the police station, the family had no idea where the 12-year-old boy had gone since calls to his phone went unanswered.

An emotional Furlong broke down, evidently frustrated by the police response to her children’s antagonists. “The police and dem nah hold dem. That ah weh me ah talk. Dem just ah question me and ah talk about underage. Dem never underage to do ma pickney all that?” she questioned.

No one has been arrested for either incident, the mother said, as she demanded answers from the police, refusing to accept that nothing could be done because of the attackers’ ages.

Back at the hospital, 17-year-old Jahhym was undergoing yet another surgery to remove blood that had blocked access to his lungs via a breathing tube that doctors had inserted into his body after the attack.

“They say that the drips they are giving him are going through the breathing part, not the feeding part and the blood that in him stuck up inside one of them. The left side [of his heart] beating good but the right side is not beating good. So, they went and take him for a scan and they see is some kind of blocked tube. They say if it make him stop breathing or anything, they’ll have to punch he belly,” the mother explained.

“Ah kill dem warn kill me,” Furlong cried, one day after feeling “so happy” that she received news of Jahhym’s slow recovery. She told a different story yesterday noting that, “All my pickney bottom teeth come out, whole wire in he face. Ma pickney lip split down, blood clot in he head and dem go and damage me fi go up by the school again today, fi damage ma two other pickney. You nuh see ah heart dem there have. Lef from Grays Farm to Ottos Comprehensive School?”

Meanwhile, Jahhym’s grandmother, Clayanther Shaw, insists that her family should not be responsible for paying a hospital bill that has already exceeded twenty-nine thousand dollars.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] when we looked at it, from Thursday to day-before-yesterday [Monday] it was twenty-nine thousand, seven hundred and odd dollars, but that was only a part because he is still in ICU. We were just curious about it, but it’s not we as a family should have to take care of those bills,” she said during a live programme on OBSERVER’s VOICE OF THE PEOPLE.

The bill was given to the family on Monday and reflects payment for medical expenses for the five days since the 17-year-old was admitted to the Mount St John’s Medical Centre. Jahhym was reportedly the victim of a violent attack that happened while he walked past the Green Bay Primary School on his way home.

Doctors have told the family that the boy suffered a broken nose and jaw. They also had to control bleeding on his brain.

The grandmother is asking any witnesses to come forward and notify the police.

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