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JVD woman pleas for help for her & paralysed son

- Cancer patient Georgia Callwood wants to see her son Brae’den E. Edwards receive an education
Brae’den E. Edwards has been described as a smart child. His mother Georgia Callwood would like to see her son get an education. Photo: Provided
Edwards' swollen knee after his fall. Photo: Provided
Edwards' swollen knee after his fall. Photo: Provided
Edwards suffered a bruise to his forehead after he fell from his wheelchair. Photo: Provided
Edwards suffered a bruise to his forehead after he fell from his wheelchair. Photo: Provided
The dilapidated road on Jost Van Dyke that Georgia Callwood would like to see fixed. Photo: Provided
The dilapidated road on Jost Van Dyke that Georgia Callwood would like to see fixed. Photo: Provided
The area where Edwards suffered a nasty fall. Photo: Provided
The area where Edwards suffered a nasty fall. Photo: Provided
GREAT HARBOUR, Jost Van Dyke, VI- When Georgia Callwood of Jost Van Dyke received the tragic news of her 17-year-old son being paralysed from the chest down; she never anticipated she would be practically left on her own to take care of him.

In an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online, Callwood explained that her son Brae’den E. Edwards, who was an A student of the Elmore Stoutt High School, was diagnosed with a cyst in the spine of his neck in January of this year.

Edwards did surgery twice in Miami, Florida, but he was left paralysed. He spent one month in rehabilitation and over two months at Peebles Hospital.

The grieving mother remarked that her son is still able to study his lessons as he is able to speak and communicate, and his hands work somewhat as he often utilises his phone and computer.

“This boy is very, very smart. He was valedictorian in 2012 at Jost Van Dyke Primary School. He never brought home B’s and C’s,” she said.

Callwood is asking for any assistance, in whatever form, so that her son can get a proper education. She said she had attempted to get her son’s school lessons so that he can continue his education but that request fell on deaf ears.

“It’s like he’s just going to lay down there and let his brain sizzle and go to waste,” she said in dismay.

‘Injury to injury’

To make matters worse for her son, Callwood said Edwards recently suffered a fall due to the poor state of the road in front of her home.

She said they were just returning from a therapy session and Edwards was just placed down by a Good Samaritan who owns a truck and had volunteered to drive them to and from the ferry dock.

The mother related that the wheel of the automatic wheelchair got stuck and when her son pressed the “drive” button, he pitched forward and landed face down on the pavement. He received some scars on his face and hit his right knee so hard that it swelled and he now has to travel to Tortola for a doctor’s visit.

The cost of his health care following that incident was taken care by National Health Insurance (NHI).

Callwood lamented that the bad piece of road directly in front of her home also causes water to be splashed on to her veranda. She said, however, that she would particularly like it fixed so her son could drive in on his wheelchair.

This news site was told that Edwards’ father passed away in 2012 and in that same year she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Callwood has five children, all employed and living on their own, some abroad.

She said she is supposed to be attending to her cancer appointments but is currently behind schedule since she is not able to get it done as she is the full-time caretaker of her son.

56 Responses to “JVD woman pleas for help for her & paralysed son”

  • bvi (01/09/2016, 16:56) Like (71) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is how the BVI works when it comes to people with disabilities. To our government, they mean NOTHING. Because he's in a wheelchair is not a reason why he should not be in school. Mother, you have to push for your son. Knock on doors of the Education minister, and Chief Education officer and demand that your son gets full education like everybody else and that changes are made in the infrastructure of the school to accommodate him. This is nonsense. Even if all he could move was his eyes (God forbid) he still has a right to an education. It is time this crap stop and that this Territory that is no third world get with the program.
    Accessibility is another issue. Our ministers and people in command go abroad and it is easy to see the respect that persons with disabilities get in UK, U.S, Canada and other countries. They get the best parking spots, restroom accommodations, and MUST be able to get in and out of any public building with ease. Here, they can't even get into a bank. This rubbish need to stop.
    Mother, push, push and push. If you give up, your son will suck salt here.
    • U kno (01/09/2016, 19:14) Like (12) Dislike (9) Reply

      W......... dont Care bout Us. He Only wanted we votes yo

    • Social disgrace (01/09/2016, 21:07) Like (37) Dislike (0) Reply
      The social services of this place is a disgrace. When people are faced with these situations they should be getting homecare help paid for by the state. The young man mother shouldn't have to be begging for education for her child. OK he's in a wheelchair. What's the problem with that. Give him an aid and have him in classes. He can hear, he can speak, he can understand and even if he couldn't hear or speak so what. All odette these social workers and top educators always going to conferences and building up airline mileage for professional development and don't learn a dam thing that they could come back and implement. The system socks. If it ain't a million or more where the politicians could get a cut, then it ain't important enough
      • In addition... (02/09/2016, 23:00) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
        It is my belief that the social services in the territory are bursting at the seams because everybody seems to have an emergency that they expect to have treated with utmost priority and equality to the next. I also believe that it would be a better investment if all teachers received training/professional development in special education instead of licensure. There may not be funds to give every child with special needs an aide or send them abroad. More unique learning needs are occurring in our over-populated schools. Perhaps the school for persons with special needs can evolve, so money can stay in the territory and be invested in providing better services and facilities.
    • hold on (02/09/2016, 14:18) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      The o'neal from vg when she was principle had her child finish school in a wheel chair, so it is possible unlike this intelligent young man her child couldn't talk or write not even now, had a personal Nany to do all her school work and to be in every class room with her and still got honors. The BVI needs to stop this foolishness and support each other, not because she is a o'neal that means extra special treatment, we are all human and special in our own way. Praying that your son gets his opportunity and the help that both of you deserve.
      • spell the last name right (02/09/2016, 18:43) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
        O'Neal !
      • spell the name right (02/09/2016, 18:56) Like (2) Dislike (12) Reply
        It's O'Neal not o'neal !
        • to petty (03/09/2016, 19:06) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
          You fully well understand what the person is saying. Name seems to be your issue. To petty
        • Bigbrainslilhead (03/09/2016, 20:38) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
          Big or small letters them spell the same dam name, jump down off that high horse you rode in on. Whether one spent their own money or not. No child should be left behind whether they are mentally or physically challenged. Let them be the one that gived up, not that we give up on them. That's the motto.

          Abuse don't always come verbal or physical. It also comes in neglect by those who are in position to rectify a situation but wilfully ignore it
      • @hold on (02/09/2016, 19:01) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        While you are making specific mention of this child in an unfair tone you might need to bear in mind that there are some parents out there who can do for their children and they do all that they can. So I do not think it is fair of you to criticize a child because of her name when you do not know the facts.
        Now with the matter at hand. We do not know if the Minister or education department was contacted and to what extent help was given or refused.
        Bear in mind some people face situations and expect the assistance will be automatically granted without them applying for services. Now I am not saying what did or did not happen as I do not know.
        Make your comment general instead of pointing fingers
  • the rock (01/09/2016, 17:17) Like (40) Dislike (2) Reply
    come on greg, rudy, foxy and others over there u guys can step inn and help this kid, u guys are still a small community, don't wait on the politician, I know u guys can do it!~
  • chad (01/09/2016, 17:29) Like (23) Dislike (5) Reply
    and myron closed down the high school over there in JVD?
    • ok (01/09/2016, 19:00) Like (7) Dislike (13) Reply
      and? wah da got to do with this child needing assistance and his mother pleadingfor help?
  • Hmm (01/09/2016, 17:52) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    wow very hard and tough time this mother is and will go tru if none or no family memeber assist in no way other than that truck man wow JVD community help the lady and her son.
  • just asking.. (01/09/2016, 18:07) Like (24) Dislike (3) Reply
    Where is the NDP who was over there buying the election?
  • Wendy (01/09/2016, 18:28) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wow!!!! Stay strong madam!
    Have you been in touch withMinister of Education? Is there anyone who can assist with advocacy? Online courses is a possibility? A pastor to assist with counseling ? You are on the right track,making a plea on social media..Homeschooling? Wow...Your district rep? I know this will end well because of your efforts so hang in there..Please take a breath find time to rest and to take care of yourself...Have your son Google for online courses in the meantime. ...How can you be contacted..
  • wize up (01/09/2016, 18:44) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am very mindful that government can not do all; but i think the government dont care the people....our administrators will quicker help the foreign investors or grant them pioneer status(my personal opinion)
  • bvislander who cares. (01/09/2016, 19:40) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some one has to step up to lift, reach our and care..... we all have to be there for those who need a lift and a hand and help....come on..........
  • vip (01/09/2016, 19:51) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Andrew is more caring
  • Reply (01/09/2016, 19:53) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sad reading. Clearly both Mom and son needs help like yesterday. Mom cannot forget herself however in this struggle because she needs to attend to her medical needs so that she can be there for her son.

    This is where all of us as a human family should do whatever we can to help this family. After all, this could have been anyone of us.

    If the District Rep could spear head efforts, or someone in the Jos Van Dyke community do likewise and tell us where and what individual such as myself can do, I will be more than happy to help this family in whatever way I can.

    This life can be such a bad journey for some. Nevertheless, I urge the Mom to stay strong, and don't forget herself in this struggle. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

    If there is a way for us to reach out and offer our help? Please let us know. God Bless.

    I totally agree with an other poster who stated we need to do better for our disabled brothers and sisters. Certainly being disabled should not end access to continuing or getting ones education.

    We have to do better BVI. How we treat others less able than us is a poor reflection on us all and our entire society.
  • Online Now (01/09/2016, 20:42) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    A very sad story but not hopeless. Perhaps you can work out what you need and the community could come together and assist.
  • change (01/09/2016, 21:09) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is unacceptable. We boast of being among the best in the Caribbean and we do not have proper systems in place to assist with the disabled.
  • #2nddistricttoo (01/09/2016, 21:14) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Madam: Have you spoken with the minister for the 2nd district? You should bring the matter to his attention and together you all can take things from there.
  • oppertunist (01/09/2016, 21:37) Like (5) Dislike (10) Reply
    Watch u see funny man jump up and help just for pilitical milage
    • the rock (02/09/2016, 08:10) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      you poor piece of $hit 'oppertunist' this is all u could of add to this situation!
  • See (01/09/2016, 22:19) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is what pisses me off. The boy cannot travel to school. Why the hell the board of education can't make an effort to have school work sent to his home
    so that he can continue his education.
    • Wrong (02/09/2016, 16:06) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      Why can't he travel to school? Because he's in a wheelchair? There are no limits and long gone are the days when a wheelchair bound person had to stay lock up at home. I've seen people who are worse off moving and going about their daily business with little or no help. They in their automatic wheelchairs, use their very chin to steer and they gone. On and off of public transportation and subways
      It's time we make a move to rectify our flaws. Proper sidewalks and access will be a good start. He does not need exclusion
  • Lilly (02/09/2016, 07:20) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    where is all that cash and POs that we given away last year on JVD leading up to the 2015 election deman
  • wah (02/09/2016, 07:33) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    is that one of Foxy's grandchildren?
    • Nosie (02/09/2016, 19:03) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      Is that any business of yours?
      • Well (03/09/2016, 09:42) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
        Since this is now a public matter requiring public assistance,then it is everybody,s business. For starters,if grandpa is a millionaire,then the question becomes " what the ****".
  • wize up (02/09/2016, 08:06) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just got an update: you made the switch with Mitch !!!'
  • Disgrace (02/09/2016, 09:12) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    just spoke with a family on the ferry. To add insult to injury, electricity went off last night in JVD and the boy hospital bed in a sitting position. He had to sleep sitting up all night cause she had no help getting he out de ned and no where to lay him when she geh he out. NDP you is a disgrace. I wonder if she voted fo ahyo. That the best service she could get? All now ober deh outta current.
  • VG (02/09/2016, 09:20) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why don't the Churches help for once.

    We have so many churches and my honest opinion they does nothing for the community just a set of pretend dresses up church goers. I am sure some of them cannot say a day they give back and help with someone life.
    • wize up (02/09/2016, 20:30) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ VG: you have to be a member of a church and paying your monthly 10% to get any help from them...
  • Disgrace (02/09/2016, 09:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wah the hell that have to do wid he doing something fo the island. He ain't doin no dam favouritism. You do it fo one at we, then you do it fo all ah we. Whether somebody vote fo you or not. He in the wrong f_ng house.
  • enough (02/09/2016, 09:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This young man can finish his education online. The government can make it happen there is a primary school where he can go to do all he test but in class work can be done online from his home. There are many persons who earn degrees from home.
    • Disgrace (02/09/2016, 10:53) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
      @enough De primary school nuh have ramps. He nuh can climb de steps. De big man donate fan to de church cause das where he going get de blessing and recognition
  • usa (02/09/2016, 09:43) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    • Tim (02/09/2016, 11:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      USA, Congrats for saying you will help. I read all the posts and you are the only one offer help. I wonder if those persons donot feel any obligation to help but they are ready to suggest others. I am also will to help in whatever way I can.
  • Krazy (02/09/2016, 10:12) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
    Old people always say there is always ‘two sides to a story’.

    I have read all the comments that were made, however, the parents failed to mention whether they sought assistance from any Govt. Depts. , Govt. Ministers, the District Rept. or any other organization. Lambasting the Minister for Edu. or the District Rep. is uncalled for at this early stage. The parents need to inform the public whether or not they sought assistance from any Govt. Dept. before they made a public appeal.
    • Hmmmm (02/09/2016, 12:25) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Yes assistance was sort through min of edu., district rep, public works for the roads, and the list goes on. Sad part is when u try to do things the right way u never get no where. Options have been exausted so i am not suprised she finally went to the media.
    • Ms Callwood (02/09/2016, 13:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @krazy FYI
      My district rep. Knows about the situation on the road we did talk, we communicate. At the end of the way, he is not the one to take up the shovel on the road. He knows about the situation of his schooling also like I said, we communicate. There are some things that I expect from him that he has reach out and there are things that's not in his department

      I have spoken to the min. Education personally in his office who at the time picked up his phone and called Mr. Selwyn and asked him communicate with the school. The school called me in about April while he was in peebles hospital notifying me that they got a call and was preparing a packaged to be picked up (APRIL). Said they would give me a call to pick up. Am still waiting his hospital case manager has also been in communication with them.

      I have called Mr Ross in public works who is always in a meeting. First time he advised me to call Georges whose Secretary answered the phone and spoke for him. He never came on the phone. He stated he was going to call Graham ( JVD PWD Supervisor) to take pics and send to him which he did and this was before my son's accident on the wheel chair. Since I have not seen or heard from them I gain the help of a local whose truck tail gate will ascend to the ground to pick him up to be transported to the ferry dock to go to tortola to have his therapy. The road is to dangerous for him to travel on his own. Sometimes when we try the chair takes it own course skidding off the side towards the embankment by the sea.

      I have tried calling Ross again since his fall who was in a meeting again and promised to call me back. Am still waiting.

      Thank you very much for your suggestions. If you have any other suggestion that can help the situation with his education of the road being fixed please advise and have a blessed day
  • ... (02/09/2016, 12:11) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    To every person that commented and thinking of commenting: Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. What can YOU and I do to help her? Let's start there.
  • My Goodness (02/09/2016, 12:47) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
    The government and NHI have done so much for this lady already. All she needs is a little patience. Rome was not built in a day.
    • Disgrace (02/09/2016, 14:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @My Goodness All she wants is his education continued and the piece of road fixed. Askin for his school work is too much? Why are you lamblasting? How you know she ain't went thru the channels. NHI did what they were compelled to do as the insurance company. why are you so bitter?
  • sad (02/09/2016, 12:51) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    @ KRAZY I totally agree with you. She went to the Media. Go thru the proper channels. I sense her frustration know her son is very smart. Ms Callwood I would advise you to contact the Ministry of Education and state your case for your son. You are his only hope right now. Hope you get some help
  • Jeeze (02/09/2016, 13:29) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I know for a fact she has gotten assistance from the district rep. so for those of you who questioning where is the district rep. He's been there and is currently trying to get educational assistance for her son.
    • SURVIVOR2 (03/09/2016, 09:42) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Speak what you know now. Even if she got some kind of pocket handout from the district rep. is she asking for a house. Sounds like you would offer a $ then throw it in people face later

      Her child was in 4th form when he took sick. We learned that much about him. All i heard the lady was asking for is for her child school work to continue so that his brains does not go to waste because it seems like she said she already reached out but the system done dropped him.

      some of you stating bout how much help he done get NOT. Is he walking? Is he receiving his education? This is a program BVI Government should done have implemented in case these situation arises. Stop sitting down and waiting till here start stuff for BVI to go copy. All she begging is for public work to fix the GOVERNMENT road from the boy mashing up his chair that the same government probably had to pay for, himself, to travel to his destination to & from.

      If matters get worse, he is still their problem. He is a minor. He is Government's problem. If she was negligent about taking care of him or causing him to not be able to continue his education the Government in the US woulda dam sure find her.

      Sources @Peebles told me this lady slept 2 months in hospital next to that boy in uncomfortable position taking care of her son. Ms. You said you a CANCER SURVIVOR? Please contact ms. Fahie whose over the Cancer Society over there in Tortola.

      You causes your own people to run to another country to seek help after you fail them. A system where everybody in position looks out for themselves and their closest next of kin. The RICH and theirs get richer, the POOR and theirs get poorer.

      If the min. Education and the school have not reached out to assist him with his education, I do hope like you said that the dist. Rep do.

      Young man I pray you well, God is going to raise you up to give him glory. When all others fail you, he will step in. It is well
  • Oh Please (02/09/2016, 13:59) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Gov knows this childs predicament and is playing stupid as are the community.People in the Bvi chat to much.
  • Struppes (02/09/2016, 17:51) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Gimme a break. Before this child return to the the Territory after treatments abroard, the gov, (hospital, NHI, social services) all had a round table meeting about this boy's predicament and they knew what they was expecting on his return. she said they even called her and ask her if she did not consider staying out there and seek help and not return back home because the boy was born in the United States. She said she told them she was born here and she wants to return home
    • MotheroftheYear (02/09/2016, 21:15) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      So you mean to tell me she left all the medical, educational and social services and modern infrastructure available to them in America and expect to find them in Jost Van Dyke? Not a word of thanks for all the help they got that saved that child's life?
  • Solid (03/09/2016, 10:02) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    @ motheroftheyear
    did you have somewhere for her to stay in America for her to abode after hospital say her time was up? Why are you so ignorant? Are you a family member that have a house out there? She said the government here communicated with the Dr. there who called her before she return to the territory and told her that he made calls and was told that she had to be living in America for 6 months before he was given any help. That's their way of thinking even tho he was born in the US.

    What word of thanks? How YOU know she ain't thanking GOD that saved him? Oh did you give money and now you need your piece of shine. You are pitiful
  • Ms. CALLWOOD (mom) (03/09/2016, 11:19) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Really? I am making an appeal to have my son education continues from him laying in bed or his chair day in, day out, receiving visits from all his school friends that he use to accompany to school, some of them he helped tutored when taking their exam to pass into high school. People can be in a wheel chair and still accomplish great things.

    I am asking for a piece of Government road to be fixed and you are asking why I I don't give a word of thanks to all the help he received to help save his life. People has done things and donated mony to my son in which I definitely thanked them at that time. FYI, I have already reached out to these people for what i am now making a public appeal. When my son return to BBC primary school a second time I was told by the then principal Mar a Martin that there are no room in the high schoo and he would have to repeat class 5. That was not a problem, he would gain more. He should've been in form 5 not form 4. I also made that clear to the min. Education in our meeting. (I am not begging for money) God will provide even if he has to send you with it. He has been My question to you is

    1. Are you equal to God that guided the doctors hand that I should give you thanks too?
    2. Did you give me a donation or a fun raiser that I forgot to thank you or should I give you a public vote of thanks? In that case whomever you are, I am grateful and God bless you continually.
    3. Did you pray for him? I will not thank you for that. That was a commandment from God. "That we pray one for another". The glory does not belong to you. It belongs to GOD
    Have a great day.

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