Elderly man falls into hole; children involved

Seventy-nine-year-old Lincoln Nicholson fell into a pothole on the Lyssons main road section of the Southern Coastal Highway, just outside Morant Bay, St. Thomas. (Photo contributed)

ST THOMAS, Jamaica – The children of 79-year-old Lincoln Nicholson are searching for answers when their father fell into a hole on the Lyssons main road section of the Southern Coastal Highway, just outside Morant Bay, St Thomas.

The incident happened while he was walking to his doctor around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10. Nicholson, who lives on Lyssons Road, was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital where he received medical attention and was sent home.

His son Richard told it Observer online“He walked to town and fell into the hole. People are building holes in the roadsides to drain water, like storm drains, and they haven’t finished what they’re doing yet, so the holes are open. My father is 79, so you know a 79 year old man walking on the road and a lot of cars are passing by and I don’t know what happened and how my father got into the hole. He was walking alone and two boys saw him and pulled him out of the hole, put him in a taxi and sent him to the hospital. There was no one with him. His whole right side is dead where he was hit when he fell into the hole.

The gap in the Lyssons main road section of the Southern Coastal Highway, just outside Morant Bay, St. Thomas. (Photo contributed)

Richard said his father is now in the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) where doctors have taken ‘loose blood’ from his brain. He said his right side was swollen before he was admitted to UHWI “but now it is starting to go down a bit”.

Cherry-Ann Nicholson-Padmore, his daughter, is concerned about health care costs and how the fall could affect her father.

“After going home he can’t walk now, he has to use a diaper and the right side of him is dead. He was taken back to Princess Margaret Hospital where he was treated and sent to Kingston to have a CT (computed tomography) scan. They discovered that he had bruised his head and had undergone surgery on his brain at the University of the West. Indian Hospital. He can’t do anything for himself and has to wear diapers. He was independent: he mowed his own lawn, cycled and did everything for himself, so it’s hard for him now and for us too,” says Nicholson-Padmore.

Seventy-nine-year-old Lincoln Nicholson is now in a wheelchair after falling into a hole on Lysson’s main stretch of the Southern Coastal Highway, just outside Morant Bay, St. Thomas. (Photo contributed)

“We need some accountability from the people responsible for the roadworks; there’s a bill at University Hospital for over $300,000 just for him to do the brain surgery. Where are we going to get all this money? This man was fine, she said.

Nicholson-Padmore said the hole is still open.

“I tried to send an email to CHEC (China Harbor Engineering Company) but still no response; it’s like a dead end,” she said.

“We want something to be done because the area is not yet established… it is still uncovered and the vehicles are moving at such a speed,” the daughter added.

At the time of writing, the father has had surgery and, in addition to therapy, he must undergo further checks at the UHWI. However, the family wants the area to be repaired and hopes that this will not happen again and that the authorities involved will act responsibly.

–Everard Owen