38-year-old’s drowning devastates family
At work yesterday Tamiko Skinner had the general feeling that something sad was going to happen in her life.
Her left eyelid continuously jumped and she had this pressing urge to cry as water welled in her eyes.
Virtually moved to tears, Tamiko told Barbados TODAY during an interview at her Belfield, Fairfield, St Michael family home this afternoon that she believed these premonitions prepared her for the disturbing news she would receive
later on in the day that her twin brother, 38-year-old Jason Skinner had died after getting into difficulty while snorkeling off Paradise Beach.
Police reported that Skinner was pulled from the water by two men around 5:10 p.m. Consequently, he was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance where he was pronounced dead.
“For the whole day at work my eye felt funny and was jumping all day and I was like ‘What [is] going to go wrong now?’ I called home and asked the children if everybody alright and the children tell me ‘yes’. I asked for my son and they say, ‘everybody all right’. About twenty minutes after I left work, my brother-in-law called and told me, ‘Go and check on your brother’. I was like, ‘What happen?’
“As I drove, my body started trembling and my heart started beating fast. When I get home he [brother-in-law] say, ‘Come let we go; something happened’. When I get down there [to the beach] the ambulance had gone and from then I couldn’t breathe. My chest felt tight. It was like, I was going to expect something,” she said.
The sister recalled that when she arrived at QEH, a nurse urged her to enter a room where her brother’s body was lying. But Tamiko was hesitant to enter. She said right there and then, she knew that the twin she shared an unbreakable bond with was dead.
“I really felt something during the course of the day. Water settled in my eyes and the [others at work] were asking, ‘What happen, you cool?’ I say, ‘Something wrong though, but I cool’.
“Old people say your eyes does jump when you cry but I figured I was going to cry like later down in the day because something was going to happen,” she told Barbados TODAY.
She added: “Honestly, I felt this.”
Tamiko who described her brother as a quiet, helpful, always smiling individual said they enjoyed a special relationship that usually alerted them both when something was wrong with each other.
Meanwhile, sitting next to Tamiko, rubbing her shoulders, offering her comfort and support, her nephew Ackeem Miller, who was snorkeling with Skinner at the time he got into difficulty, said his uncle called out to him for help, but by the time he got to him, he had already gone under.
“He called for me and I say ‘Uncle, I coming’. I realized that his mask was off and I was like, ‘Why he mask off?’ I went to him, but by the time I got to him, he went under. I pulled him up, me and my friend brought him to shore,” Miller said.
Miller, a police officer, said for a while, he carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on his uncle, until a lifeguard came to offer assistance and that was followed by the ambulance being called.
The family members said they had informed Skinner’s mother, who resides overseas, that the fifth of her six children had died tragically.
They said she told them that she was trying to remain strong, but they knew she was not handling the loss of her son, who was a construction worker, too well.
“It hurt; to be honest it hurt. It hurt a lot, but I had to be strong for my family. It still hurts at this point, but I still trying,” Miller said.