September 25, 2020

I CAN’T FORGIVE: Two months on and Medsadie still recovering

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She’s depressed, but has family and friends. She’s still angry, but is no longer overwhelmed. She does physiotherapy at George Town Hospital and cannot walk, but can feel the healing from the bullets.

Medsadie Connor, 57, suffered other bullets as well, one through her forearm and one that grazed her left side and upper inside arm. The wounds are closing, but are almost negligible compared with the two-inch scar on her left knee, where the shot entered; the purple welt on her lower calf where it exited and the heavy black brace – with the adjustable bend at the joint – enclosing the entire leg.

“I’m not used to anything like this. I used to be hopping about, and this brace is so hot. This has been the worst two months I have ever had in my life,” she said.

Ms Connor was shot twice, and left bleeding in the middle of Bodden Town Road just after closing Lorna’s Texaco at 10pm on 13 July, exactly two months ago (13 Sept).

“It was me, the pump attendant, the security guy and Patty, who worked in the liquor shop next door. We all closed up at the same time and I put on the alarm and stepped outside,” she said.

She started to cross the street to her car, reaching in her handbag for the keys as she walked.

“There ls a dog pen next to the car and I heard them start to bark. I looked up and saw an object coming toward me. I turned and tried to run.

“I heard a shot and my right arm went numb. I heard another shot. My left leg went numb and I went down, still conscious, with my handbag still over my shoulder. I noticed that my arm was bleeding,” Ms Connor said.

Frightened now, sprawled in the road, she could see a dark shape, a man, standing over her.

“He grabbed my handbag and disappeared, and left me bleeding in the street. I flexed my hand, but couldn’t move it.

“I remember a guy who was crossing the road and he stopped. The security guy took off down the beach and Patty called the boss and told him someone shot me.”

The man crossing the road was someone Ms Connor knew. He knelt to rub her arm, “Calm down, don’t move, keep still, he told me, and I‘m groaning and tossing, feeling the pain in my legs and arm.

“The boss came, hollering for me: ‘Meds, Meds’, and they got a belt and tried to wrap up my arm. The boss’s wife, Miss Nancy, asked for an ambulance because they couldn’t move me,” she said.

“The boss” is Osbourne Bodden owner of the petrol station and former Bodden Town MLA, who has since formed the Eastern Business Owners Association to liaise with police and politicians about protection.

Ms Connor lay in George Town Hospital until 25 July when she was airlifted to Delray Medical Center in West Palm Beach. The next day, surgeons put a pin in her knee and moved her to nearby Quest Diagnostics for initial physiotherapy.

“They got me to do exercises on my right side because I couldn’t put any weight on my left,” Ms Connor said. “It was a lot of hard work until 5 August, when they sent me home,” confined to a wheelchair and a walker.

She has lived in her quiet East End neighbourhood for 15 years, near to one daughter, who visits or calls every day, while a second daughter is staying at the Farm Road home.

“I have no idea who did this to me, and they got only $50, what I had in my handbag,” she said. “They must have thought I had the business money and was taking it with me, but it was all locked inside – and they couldn’t get into the building,” she said.

“When this first happened, I couldn’t help myself, I was really angry,” she said, visibly bristling with the memory. “Now, I am less angry, but I am not ready to forgive these guys. They should not have done this to me. They could have smacked me, pushed me down, taken my handbag, but this ….”

So far, police have made no arrests in the crime, but Ms Connor was clearly nervous about telling her story to a courtroom, saying she was a “little scared” about the idea.

She expects to make a full recovery, but is torn about going back to work and confronting the memories. She tires easily and struggles with the emotional burden.

“I don’t know. I hope to go back after some more improvement, maybe by Christmas time,” she said. “My left leg is painful and it takes some hard work, and my back hurts if I sit up too long. The stressful part is day-to-day sitting in the house reading, doing puzzles, watching television, doing nothing.

“The hard thing,” she said, “is that my husband died just two years ago. I was just starting to pick myself up, put the pieces back together, and then this comes along. It just put me right down again, and has made it so much tougher.”

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