One young woman is dead and two other teenagers are battling for their lives after three suicide incidents in Berbice in recent weeks.
Valiant efforts by doctors and nurses at the New Amsterdam Hospital could not save the life of a University of Guyana (UG) student who succumbed early Monday morning after drinking gramoxone last week.
Nineteen-year-old Toneisha Edwards, a public management student at the university’s Turkeyen Campus, was rushed to the medical institution on New Year’s Day where she remained a patient until her death. She was the second child born to Linden Edwards and Shirley Hinds.
Guyana Times understands that the young woman ingested the poisonous substance on New Year’s Eve (Old Year’s Day) then went home. Her grieving father told this publication that his daughter was reportedly with a friend when she purchased the substance from a drug store in the town that very day.
According to the older Edwards, Toneisha told her friend that she was using the poison to “spray the yard”. The teary-eyed father lamented that had he known that his daughter was carrying around the substance all day, he would have taken it from her.
Asked what might have led to his daughter’s fateful action, Edwards said he was not sure; however, he suspects it was a relationship that turned sour. The young woman leaves to mourn her mother, father and three siblings. She will be buried on Sunday.
Meanwhile, a 14-year-old student, who celebrated her birthday on Thursday, is currently in critical condition at the New Amsterdam Hospital after also consuming a poisonous substance.
A third-form student of a secondary school, and living in Palmyra Village, she allegedly drank gramoxone after an altercation with her boyfriend’s relatives.
Her father told Guyana Times what led to his only daughter’s hasty decision to consume the poison on Saturday about 12:30h.
He said he was at work when his wife contacted him. He said she told him that their daughter had gotten into some problems with her boyfriend and that the boy’s parents and police were at their house.
“Them bring two policemen and how dem want see me, and me say ‘me ain’t coming, man’ and then they force me and I come,” she related. The father said when questioned, his daughter denied having any relationship and cried.
“Me daughter start cry and she tell me she na like none boy and she na want no problem with nobody, we does always tell she she small and na meet time for boy and dem thing,” he said.
He said that upon reaching home, he saw a police rank and his wife, along with another police officer attached to the Albion Police Station, in front of his home.
According to reports, the teen is indeed involved in a relationship with a student in the same class, and this relationship has been going on for more than six months unbeknownst to the girl’s father.
“She say she na like nobody, me shock because she say she na get boyfriend, she mother does hide it from me. I say I will transfer she from that school and send her to another school, me mistress bin a hide the thing from me,” he stated.
The distressed man said the family has been praying for his daughter’s recovery. He added that the police ranks were a bit insensitive and this may have sparked the haste in which his daughter consumed the substance.
The father said after the noisy squabble with the police and his wife, he threatened and scolded his daughter. He said that he always had gramoxone on hand to spray the grass in the yard and apparently the young girl took it and drank it.
“Me had gramoxone to spray the yard, but me na know she go thief it and drink it, she like she scared and shame, cause school open Monday and all dem children go molest she, me only threaten she,” he tearfully said.
In another incident, a 19-year-old from Bush Lot Farm on the Corentyne, who graduated from the JC Chandisingh Secondary School in November, is also battling for her life, after reportedly consuming gramoxone.