(CMR) The family of a 10-year-old Jamaican girl is now desperately trying to raise US$50,000 for surgery after the child was shot in the head in Montego Bay, Jamaica, during a shootout between gangsters on October 6. Calyssa Walker needs cochlear surgery to restore hearing in her left ear or risk losing hearing in both ears for the rest of her life.
Her mother, Kelly-Ann Reece, told CMR that the entire sensory nerve in her left ear was damaged. Reece said only a cochlear implant can help Calyssa, who “is unbalanced and unable to walk on her own.” However, the mother said doctors have warned that time is of the essence as Calyssa could lose hearing in both ears if surgery is not done soon.
Calyssa and Reece were among four bystanders shot in the incident in which rifle-toting attackers engaged men in another car in a shoot-out during a high-speed chase. Three gangsters were killed.
Reece said on the day of the shooting, she went into Montego Bay with Calyssa and her one-year-old daughter to do business when she heard gunshots being fired while in a taxi.
“The next thing I know, something slapped me in the back of my head, and I said I got shot… When the driver pulled off the road, and I turned around, all I could see was blood running like water,” Reece recalled the terrifying moment she realized her daughter was shot.
“They lost her three times that day,” Reece recalled.
Calyssa spent one month in the hospital. She suffered a fractured skull as the bullet went through the back of her head and came out through her cheek.
“I was just praying to God that she comes out and that she be ok when she comes out,” Reece said.
Reece is happy her daughter is alive and wants to do all she can to help her get back to a normal life. She explained that her daughter now has “severe headaches and becomes dizzy sometimes.”
Calyssa, who wants to be a doctor, has not been able to go to school since the incident.
Persons wishing to help Calyssa can donate via her GoFundMe account or through the Bank of Nova Scotia’s Sam Sharpe Square branch, account number 1006493, or contact her mother, Kelly-Ann Reece, at 876-434-9497.