What exactly happened the night 13-year-old Natesha James died? Was it a merely the result of an unfortunate accident, or the result of sinister mistreatment? Who is to blame? What could have been done? Could it have been prevented? What can we learn from this tragic mystery and what can we do to stop this from ever occurring again?

Reports say that Natesha was last seen alive Monday night. Her mother Natalie Jervais had just returned home from a prayer meeting when she allegedly saw the teen fighting with her 3-year-old sister. The mother then said to have disciplined the girl with a guava whip and sent her straight to bed. However later that evening the mother would find Natesha unconscious on the kitchen floor. She was rushed to the Arima Health Facility and then to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, where she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was done and concluded that the teen died of asphyxiation as she choked on her vomit after having an epileptic fit, neighbours of the Wallerfield community however suspected that the child had been beaten to death, by a hammer.

Post mortem results ruled out any sort of blunt injury and no body marks that could suggest violence but relatives confirmed that the girl was constantly beaten. Residents can attest to hearing the children crying and screaming all hours in the night as beatings were a regular thing for them and was hesitant to call the police.

The parents were detained but since there was no evidence of battery they can’t be charged and was released after questioning; after denying ever abusing the child. But even if they’re not charged it doesn’t make them entirely innocent either. And even though epileptic seizures are erratic and unpredictable, I believe that what happened to 13-year-old Natesha James was only inevitable and understanding her condition and circumstances, we can begin to draw the line between her abuse and her death.

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder (as in the disorder of the physical brain) which sends the victim into unpredictable fits and seizures which can be caused by or even contribute to other mental and health issues. Natesha was said to have regular seizures whenever she was beaten. said one news article. It is not proven that frequent beatings are linked to the disorder so we can’t say that the beating she received that night was the direct cause because not all epileptic victims are necessarily victims of any sort of violence since this is a very common disease. So the beatings that particular night might not have been the direct cause but there are more to the condition that could give us an idea and maybe point us in a direction.

People with epilepsy usually get seizures frequently as children or even toddlers and some say that the disorder stems sometimes from head injuries at young ages, although this is rare. We know from the autopsy that Natasha had not received any head injury that night, certainly not from any hammer as some neighbours reported. And we don’t know of any sort of head injury suffered by the teen. Well actually that’s not what one relative had to say.

One male relative reported to the ‘Newsday’ that he saw one of the girl’s relatives “cuffing her in her head.” We don’t know the severity of her beating then but when the same relative suspected that such abuse was going on for years, we don’t know if she had suffered worse. Or all of her accumulated beatings was too much for her physical brain to take, far for her psychological state.

And to add insult to injury, one other significant characteristic about epilepsy, is that it goes hand in hand with anxiety, meaning that though rare, epilepsy can lead to anxiety and anxiety can lead to epilepsy. And we’re talking about a girl who had not only recently sit SEA and was going on into high school; a new and already stressful part of every teenagers life, but who also had to go through the tormenting  fear of constant daily beatings for most of her life. And that is enough to deteriorate any child’s life.

It’s really true that a child can be left feeling void and useless when they’re constantly hurt by the ones who are supposed to love them. And if somebody had stepped in to help this poor girl, then results like this are only inevitable. I know it’s awkward to deal with situations like this. We are told to always mind out business. But when we know something like this is going on,we should all put ourselves in place to help these children. Think about them, think “what about our future?” if anything were to happen to the young generation what is to happen to our future. And you young people, secure yourselves, save yourselves, you are too precious. Look out for one another,look out for your friends, your brothers and sister and cousins, stick together. A situation may not always be what it seems, but it’s too big a risk to chance it. To only be aware and feel sorry when it’s too late.


After Party

Let me just say that I am not an epilepsy doctor, that all my knowledge came from online. But when i saw the front papers this morning and I read the news I was deeply saddened by this. And knowing local news, there are always a million and one versions of the story so I really had to narrow it down and take from the article that I thought did the most interviews and had the most plausible information on the case which was the Newsday. I wrote this in work and even though we might not have the full story the fact of the matter still remains that there are children everywhere today living these cruel realities and sometimes having their lives tragically wasted away in sorrow and even death. Like i said i may not have all the facts, this is just my opinion on the matter but i hope the message i tried to put across reached you first and foremost. And if you made it this far i thank you, Like and Subscribe for more controversial articles by me and some really groovy ones by the amazing writers here.