NEW Amsterdam vendor, 51-year-old Maria Sampson, died at her Lot 54 Angoy’s Avenue home on Tuesday afternoon, five months after she was involved in a horrific accident along the #19 Public Road, Corentyne Berbice.
Since the accident, Sampson remained in an unconscious state. At the time of her death, she was surrounded by her seven children. On January 9, 2017, she was on her way to the Port Mourant Market to purchase vegetables; Sampson was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car, which slammed into a parked truck.
Her eldest daughter, Romella Amsterdam, also known as Camella, told the Guyana Chronicle that her mother suffered immensely as she sustained injuries to the brain, spinal cord, a punctured lung, fractured left ribs, and trauma to the chest, which resulted in her having to access her liquid diet by a gastrointestinal tube.
The 28-year-old woman recalled her mother was a patient at the Intensive Care Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital for about two months after which doctors informed the family that there was nothing else medically they could do to save the woman. The family was advised to take her home.
But according to Amsterdam, she pleaded with the doctors to refer her mother to the New Amsterdam hospital since she was unable to breathe unaided and persons had to suction her saliva every two hours.
After the request was granted, the vendor was transferred to New Amsterdam where she remained hospitalized for two additional months until she was no longer dependent on the oxygen.
The woman was subsequently discharged and taken home where her two daughters, Romella and Teola, aged 23, took shifts in caring for their single parent mother.
Romella was tasked with going to the market to sell vegetables and fruits and that money would go towards the mother’s diet. Teola, who is medically untrained, stayed at home and took care of the mother.
After leaving the market at about 19:00 hrs every day, Romella would then take care of her mother, who needed to be fed every two hours. Three days before her death, Sampson’s body started to reject all fluids and on Tuesday morning they observed that froth was emanating from her mouth. Hours later she died.
Meanwhile, Wavney August, a vendor who had travelled with Sampson in the same car when the accident occurred, recalled that she initially did not want to go to the market but received a telephone call from Sampson for them to go.
“Initially, I did not want to go, but I relented. The car came to pick me up at Edinburg Village. It was the first time I had travelled with that driver,” August said.
According to the vendor, the driver appeared to be experiencing domestic issues at the time and kept “quarrelling” as he sped down the road.
“As soon as we got on the #19 road, in the vicinity of the primary school, the driver continued speeding and I warned him, saying that the area was too dark and that he should reduce his speed. Maria and the other passengers were sleeping, but I could not. Seconds later he kept swaying. He avoided hitting a cow, but slammed into the side of a parked truck,” August recalled.
She continued, “Maria was in the front seat. I tried waking her but she did not respond. I asked the driver to go into her bosom and remove her money. It was $42,000 which I later gave to her daughters. Thereafter, I called out to the neighbours for help, before taking her to the New Amsterdam Hospital.”
Sampson leaves to mourn her seven children, grandchildren, six siblings and other relatives and friends. Her body is currently at the Arokium funeral home, where it awaits a post mortem examination.