By Elesha George
Police say they will wait for an autopsy on the body of a woman who fell from a supermarket’s second floor before deciding how to proceed with the probe into her death.
Cathya Pelle died after spending about six weeks in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre.
In late July, Pelle reportedly fell from the abandoned Miami Supermarket on All Saints Road where she stayed with her partner.
The 33-year-old suffered a broken neck and was rendered paralysed.
Jamilla Kirwan, Media Relations Specialist for the Calvin Ayre Foundation (CAF) which had been assisting Pelle, said the philanthropic organisation had been notified that she passed away at 5.25am Thursday.
“This is extremely sad for us at CAF as we had so much hope that, after her life-saving surgery we funded – although essentially quadriplegic – she would have received the therapy, counselling and specialised care required for her to be able to control an electronic wheelchair and regain some form of independence,” Kirwan told Observer.
“CAF was actually looking into ways to assist her further with rehabilitation and psychological counselling.
“We at the Calvin Ayre Foundation and Ambassador Calvin Ayre extend sincerest condolences to Cathya’s family and friends,” she said.
In August, CAF donated EC$88,450 towards Pelle’s care after activist Mary John reached out to them on the family’s behalf.
The money funded a seven-hour operation and hospitalisation fees. The Ayre Group also flew in Consulting Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr Mark Prempeh, from the United Kingdom to conduct posterior cervical reduction and fixation.
The operation involved realignment and stabilisation of Pelle’s spinal segments and removing the damaged disc and inserting a cage.
The doctor said then that had Pelle not undergone this surgery, the nerves that control the muscles of respiration would have been affected and she would not have been able to breathe independently.
After the surgery, Pelle was reportedly able to move her left elbow, was breathing on her own and didn’t fully require using a hard collar to support her neck.
Pelle and her partner, who is currently still living on the street, were part of an Observer documentary on homelessness in St John’s. They had both been struggling with cocaine addiction.
At the time of filming, the couple had managed to wean themselves off the drugs but Observer was later informed that Pelle had relapsed.