“I THOUGHT I was dead when I heard the gunshot.”
This is what 67-year-old Hicks Alexander told his son Maurice yesterday from his bed at the San Fernando General Hospital. He was being treated there for a gunshot which ripped through his face on Thursday morning.
Maurice, a People’s National Movement (PNM) councillor for Siparia/West, told the Newsday that his taxi-driver father, who is now able to speak a little, told him apart from being horrified and terrified by the action of the young man who brutalised him and shot him after trying to steal his car, he is happy to be alive.
“He said he is just thankful to be alive, because he was convinced he was going to die when the gunman pointed the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger.” Maurice lauded the courage of his father, who after his harrowing ordeal, got into his car and drove from his Small Trace, Siparia Road home, to the Siparia District Health Facility (DHF). Maurice said he was perplexed and disappointed that his father did not call for help from him or his grandmother, who both live nearby, but decided to drive himself, though injured.
“We, his children, are puzzled that he did not contact us for help, but we are impressed because it shows the courage of the man.” In retrospect, Maurice said, “That probably saved his life, because the doctors and nurses were so inspired by the courage he displayed that they were encouraged to respond to him in the best possible way.” He expressed gratitude to staff at both the DHF and the SFGH for the medical care given to his father whose condition improved overnight. “There is some improvement.
The swelling (to his face) has gone down. His eyes are open, but he is not yet out of danger. He is speaking but he is still awaiting surgery, as tests done on Thursday, showed fractures behind the nasal passage and the jaw area. “Corrective surgery will have to be done.”
Siparia police visited Alexander at his hospital bed to get a statement yesterday morning. “I was not there at the time, my brother was, and he said he spoke to them. They also brought a sketch artist to try to put together an image of what the intruder who attacked him looked like.”