ROAD TO RECOVERY
Injured truck driver grateful for second chance at life
Tyrone Franklin is thanking God for a second chance at life after staring death in the face on April 8 when the truck he was driving collided with a cane trailer.
He said nothing else, but living for his 11-year-old daughter L-Shante, and his five-year-old son Tyniko, was on his mind, as fire officers used the Jaws Of Life to remove him from the smashed front section of the vehicle, before he was rushed for medical attention.
“I actually saw myself in a position where I could do nothing but wait for the impact,” said Franklin, who told Barbados TODAY he was grateful to be alive.
Standing in the shade under a tree in his Church Village, St Philip community, supported by crutches, 35-year-old Franklin recalled details of the accident, which occurred around 1 p.m. at Salters, St George, almost claiming his life.
That day, the road was wet and the Crane and Equipment Limited truck he was driving started to slide out of control, as it headed straight for the cane trailer driven by Phillip Greaves of Thorpes Corner, St James, who suffered pains to his left shoulder and legs.
“Because of my knowledge of driving, I shift from the driver’s side to the passenger side and that is what saved me,” Franklin said.
“If I [had] stayed in that seat, I wouldn’t be here today because the steering wheel went straight into the seat when it hit,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The six-foot tall Franklin, who still bears both the physical and emotional scars of the accident, was alert through it all. He recalled the wait for the emergency officials to arrive, and the comforting words of some of the people who had gathered at the scene.
“All the people were telling me is, ‘all you can do is to hold on and wait’. So through all the hollering, and the crying, as people would expect you to do, all you can do is wait,” he said.
“While waiting all I was thinking about is my children, my family [and] how much I love them. I was hoping I don’t die and leave my children without a father,” Franklin added.
Since the accident, he has had to undergo surgery to both feet and had been wheelchair bound until three weeks ago when he transitioned to crutches.
He is currently going through rehabilitation at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but his doctors are unable to say when he will be in control of the wheels of a vehicle again.
However, Franklin, who is a truck driver of almost ten years experience, said he was not afraid to do so.
In the meantime, he is contented spending more quality time with his children and the rest of his family, as well as enjoying nature.
The accident survivor is also taking life one day at a time.
“I have to go back to the doctor next month to see if I can put weight on my right foot. Then I also have to learn to walk again,” he said.
Showing the scars on his right foot in which steel was placed, Franklyn said that overall, he was pleased with his progress to date.
“I have to thank the doctors and nurses and everybody at QEH. I used to hear rumours about QEH and how people get treat there, but I ain’t see it when I was there. Everybody was very nice, generous and willing to help at any given time,” he said.