Shot in the head

Teenager must now learn to do everything again

Four months ago, 16-year-old Daran Taylor was a fun-loving, avid football lover, who was well on his way to realizing his dream of becoming a professional barber.

But this all changed on September 1 last year when tragedy struck, placing Daran’s life in jeopardy and his future in limbo.

He was attending a promotion event near his home in Lodge Road, Christ Church when he was shot in his head by unknown assailants. His mother Maria said life for the teenager has not been the same since.

Sixteen-year-old Daran Taylor has survived a gunshot to the head.

“He was hospitalized [and] when they checked there was no bullet. It went straight through. He had to undergo surgery to remove the fragments from his head,” she explained.

Young Daran spent nearly two months in hospital clinging on to life, before he was discharged on October 24.

However, his troubles were far from over as he suffered a major setback.

“He had a leak at the back of his head and I had to take him back to the doctor to see what was going on and he was admitted again. So he has to do surgery to rectify that,” his mother said.

Maria said her son was “basically back at square one” because he had to learn to do virtually everything all over again.

Daran’s mother Maria says life for the teenager has not been the same since.

“After surgery he was unable to walk. They had to do a little therapy with him because he was unable to write and speak properly. Eventually he did start to walk a little. It has also affected his sight a bit, not being able to write or use a spoon or fork to eat properly,” she said.

Daran was developing into a talented artist and competent barber when he was shot, his mother said, adding that his inability to continue doing what he loved was particularly worrying.

“He was doing the A Ganar [youth workforce development] programme where he was cutting hair. He was assigned to the psychiatric hospital where he received pay. That was his main goal, to become a barber, so not being able to use his hand is a real setback now. He also loved playing football,” she added.

The 39-year-old unemployed mother of three said the road ahead would be a tough one.

“It’s a lot of work because we now have to start from scratch. A lot of therapy he has to get done and the hospital doesn’t have a speech therapist. And it’s $100 per hour to do it outside. I had to get an appointment done at the polyclinic but they’re all in 2017,” she told Barbados TODAY while pointing out that she had not been receiving much help and that she was not working at the moment.

“I was on sick leave at the time he was shot, and it’s a year I had sick leave. I need to get help. He has a lot to get through right now,” she said.

However, amidst it all, the former Princess Margaret Secondary School student remains in high spirits, and has started to utter a few words.

“He’s high in spirits. He’s not drawing up or anything like that. He’s calling some words but when he walks he drifts sometimes to the left.”

Daran has been receiving encouragement from another accident victim, Taurean Clarke, who lost his left leg in a vehicular accident on Whit Monday last year.

Daran (left) was happy to receive a visit from his friend Taurean Clarke.

Clarke, 26, did not know Daran, but was drawn to the teenager because of their similar personal struggles.

Having suffered his own trauma, Clarke said he wanted to be an inspiration.

“I’m just there to lend the support. I made the promise to him and his mother that I would stick with them and I told him anything he’s going through I am going to go through it with him. Right now he’s like my little brother and I’m just hoping for the best . . . . I know it’s going to be a lot because I went through the same thing so I really need to stay there with him and I intend to do that.

“After my incident I realized life can be taken from anyone within a split second and just led me to change a part of my life and now I just want to motivate people, inspire them.

“My cousin told me about Daran because he was always down. I met him and from there I was by his side. I know it’s not easy. I’m still going through a lot. So it’s kind of like I support him, I support myself and we are in it together,” Clarke said.

davandrababb@barbadostoday.bb

20 Responses to Shot in the head

  1. Kimberly Puckering
    Kimberly Puckering January 9, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Omar Ekralc

    Reply
  2. Joan E Small
    Joan E Small January 9, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    You help him to speak again! Help him to sound the words!

    Reply
  3. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte January 9, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Wow

    Reply
  4. Maaz A Love
    Maaz A Love January 9, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Get well soon …stay strong lil man ..#Blessings

    Reply
  5. Mhizz Woodroffe
    Mhizz Woodroffe January 9, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Wow

    Reply
  6. Oats Walton
    Oats Walton January 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Always pray with him God is able. May God bring this child through everything

    Reply
  7. Sonia Jordan
    Sonia Jordan January 9, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Praying for full recovery for Daran. And God bless Taurean. He is a God send.

    Reply
  8. Gee Zette
    Gee Zette January 9, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Glad to know this kid pulled through some what i don’t know him but i was wondering what happen to him after being shot keep your head up and look to the most high for guidance and blessings on your friend

    Reply
  9. Isolene Evans
    Isolene Evans January 9, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    .Keep the faith and know that God can make things right again. Continue to support each other and big bro be there for little guy when and if he gets depress

    Reply
  10. Bonita Edey
    Bonita Edey January 10, 2017 at 12:09 am

    God is in control

    Reply
  11. Pbdos Ciana Price
    Pbdos Ciana Price January 10, 2017 at 12:21 am

    I pray he gets better each day

    Reply
  12. Peter January 10, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Believe in yourself young man. You will get better with time. Everyone out there is praying for you and wishing you well.
    Keep focused on your dream. I wish you well.

    Reply
  13. seagul January 10, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Just about eleven years ago I never thought I would ever laugh again. Anyone with multiple sclerosis, with post-traumatic stress disorder or that has suffered a severe stroke can relate to the depression and emotional pain. I felt like a vacuum of life’s debris. I was in a pit of pain and self-deprivation. Life seemed without reason. The way you feel, you question the faith and everything surrounding. I have been completely humbled by life and yet still feel blessed. I think the personal satisfaction of writing uplifts the spirit and soothes the soul.

    Reply
  14. Helicopter(8P) January 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Fellow Barbadians has this story been touching to you? Bajan mothers and fathers please envision your selves to feel the pain and suffering you have placed upon one of you your own! Can you be heartless, unconscious,illiterate, senseless and demonic! The hands that did the damage are now handcuffed by God the Almighty and your vision will always be haunted!

    Reply
  15. Brewster January 10, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Was the perpetrator ever caught? The island is too small for people not to speak out if they have info regarding this incident. A citizen’s anonymous hotline should be available. No free speech therapist in Barbados. No comment.

    Reply
  16. Gregory January 10, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Somebody in Bim knows who was shooting. Somebody is supporting the person who needs to step forward and do the right thing. Those who are party to this all need to do right, for what goes around comes around.

    I wish the best to the victims and justice to the perpetrators. G

    Reply
  17. Gearbox1964 January 10, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I wish you a speedy and full recovery little brother.

    Reply
  18. Karen January 11, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Wow, I just hope he get better, the persons who shoot him, I hope then soon get catch. My Church is praying for your recovery.

    Reply
  19. Daniel January 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Is how he eating chefette in the hospital? Loll

    Get well soon fam, keep pushing forward !

    Reply
  20. MIIB January 15, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Well said seagul

    Reply

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