Bentham recounts near death experience

For Anthony Bentham who cheated death yesterday morning when the vehicle he was driving tumbled 40 feet down into a ravine it was the hand of God – and his own hands – that saved him.

Lying in a hospital bed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he is receiving treatment for the injuries he sustained in the accident, 54-year-old Bentham, a driver of 30 years who has never been involved in a road accident before, told Barbados TODAY he was counting his lucky stars.

Anthony Bentham with friend Colleen Baker while recuperating at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Anthony Bentham with friend Colleen Baker while recuperating at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

After undergoing a number of tests, Bentham said doctors informed him that they have not found any internal damage or broken limbs. However, he has pains about his shoulders and hands, requiring much effort for him to move.

“When I came here it was hard to even move them. But there is this other scan that I am supposed to get but I have to pay for it. So I have to have some discussions first on how to approach it,” he said.

Speaking in a strong voice, Bentham stressed that he was grateful to be alive, explaining that his morning journey took a wrong turn along Maxwell Hill, Christ Church when his van was struck by another vehicle that was attempting to overtake him around 7 a.m.

Bentham, who is also from the area, said he had just delivered pastries to a buyer and was on his way to park in his favourite spot to read a newspaper, as he has done almost every day for many years, when the accident took place.

With his Bible on the dashboard, the baker, who remained conscious throughout the traumatic experience, said his first thought was to press his hands onto the roof of the vehicle as it rolled over.

Noting that it landed on its wheels when it stopped near a house under construction, Bentham said he believed that his hands helped to save his life.

“Two fellas got there to me first and they were surprised that I was alive. Then the firemen got there and they too were surprised that this van rolled from all top the hill, right down and this man alive.

“One of the firemen turn and say ‘it would had to be God that was with you in this van boy because the amount of rolling this van did you could have lost your life.’ That is what he said to me,” he recalled.

But Bentham said through it all, he never believed he would have died.

He said from the time the emergency response teams arrived at the scene through to his treatment at the Accident and Emergency department of the QEH, he has received nothing short of good care.

The man of God also thanked members of the church who visited and prayed for him, offering a kind word or a tap on the shoulder, expressing to him that he was in God’s care.

“Yesterday they came and they prayed for me and they came today and prayed for me. We often sing the song that God is an awesome God.

“And I do believe that God was in the van with me. I had a big tool box in there and it get pelt bout. I was surprised that it didn’t even land on me. But actually it went long through the back door,” the survivor declared.

Baking pastries has been Bentham’s source of income for many years. Getting his hands working effectively again as he continues on the road to recovery is his prayer.

“You know being self-employed when you don’t work you don’t make any money. So I hoping that the hands would come around.

“Right now I am sorry that I didn’t start teaching my son the profession earlier. I’m in here now, but he still doing certain things to carry out,” he said.

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