MAGAZINES | Sunwheels

‘I Miss My Parents’

Today we bring you the story of a girl who was put up for adoption after her mother died in a nasty road accident and her father as left paralysed
22 Mar 2015 10:05
‘I Miss My Parents’
Karen

Today we bring you the story of a girl who was put up for adoption after her mother died in a nasty road accident and her father as left paralysed from the neck down. All names have been changed to protect the identities of the people mentioned in the story.

Karen’s Story

Diven eloped with his visually impaired high school sweetheart Tina when they were in their 20s. Their families refused to accept this relationship and the couple was forced to build a new life away from their relatives in the Central Division.

Tina stayed at home while Diven worked as a carpenter. Their friends say that the couple was in a happy, loving marriage even though they were poor.

Karen’s birth two years later brought joy to the couple. When Karen was four months old, Diven accepted a similar role in the private sector where he earned a good salary.

Every Saturday the couple would travel by bus to the city to do their shopping. On the day the accident occurred, the couple together with Karen who had turned two, three weeks earlier, began their journey to the city after 8am. They walked for about 10 minutes to the nearest bus stop and took the 8.30am bus to the city. The couple sat on the first seat of the bus (near the steps). Karen sat in her mother’s lap.

At around 8.45am, the bus was smashed into by a reckless drink-driver who was on the wrong side of the road. The bus driver panicked and he drove the bus off the road and down a steep slope. The bus crashed into a tree at the toe area of the slope.

About 26 passengers sustained various bodily injuries. The bus driver who was thrown out of his seat and through the bus smashed windscreen died instantly.

Tina was also thrown through the windscreen and she died two days later in the hospital. Diven sustained severe spinal and internal injuries that left him paralysed from the neck down. His liver and kidneys were severely damaged. Karen miraculously survived. She had landed on a soft patch of grass and only sustained minor cuts and bruises to her body.

The couple’s families did not visit Karen and Diven in the hospital. They were not present in Tina’s funeral either. The couple’s friends arranged the funeral and took turns to look after Karen and care for Diven who remained in the hospital. Diven found it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that his wife was no more.

Then the doctors told him that he didn’t have long to live. At first, Diven refused to believe them however he finally accepted his fate around two months later when he realised that his condition was deteriorating rapidly.

Diven discussed his situation with his friends and requested them to help find a family for his child. His close friends, John and Nazia agreed to raise Karen as their own child. The couple was about to migrate to another country however they deferred their plans and together with Diven’s other friends, supported him until he passed away 11 months later.

At the time of her father’s death, Karen was lying sideways on his bed, resting her head on his chest. She became hysterical when his heart stopped beating.

John and Nazia migrated to their new home together with Karen shortly after her father’s death. Karen, 17, has no memory of the accident. However she does know about her parents’ tragic deaths and has kept all photos.

Karen often travels to Fiji to visit her parents’ gravesite and to catch-up with her biological and adopted parents’ friends and their children. She loves her adopted parents but still wishes her biological parents were still alive.

“My real parents and I have been separated for ever because a person decided to drink and drive and this is so unfair,” says Karen.

“Whenever I see the photos, I wish mummy and daddy were alive to hug me just like the way they used to do when I was a kid.”

Karen is pleading with all road users to practise caution while on the road.

“Please don’t drink and drive and don’t speed because your actions can destroy peoples’ lives including your own,” she said.

“I also want to remind pedestrians and passengers that they should act responsibly while on the road. I believe that if everyone plays their part, then there won’t be any accidents.

“I think I am lucky that my father put me in the care of such wonderful people but other children may not be so lucky. So please be careful.”

Feedback: media@lta.com.fj

 



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