Kaydeja Dixon was inconsolable. Not only because two of her schoolmates had engaged in a bloody fight at Kingston Technical High on Thursday afternoon, but also due to the fact that, despite the first aid training she received earlier this year, she was not able to save the life of one of the combatants.
Dixon was also distraught that as grade 11 student Michion Campbell lay on the ground after being stabbed by a classmate in the brawl, some students, instead of trying to help Campbell, used their phones to capture video recordings of the tragedy.
“I wasn’t at the scene when she got stabbed; I just saw the crowd and tried to help, but I couldn’t help her. It hurt mi seh mi couldn’t save her. I was the only one trying to help, everybody else was just screaming or videoing,” a tearful Dixon told the Jamaica Observer during a phone interview on Friday.
Dixon explained that she had been interacting with a schoolmate when the incident occurred after school was dismissed.
“I heard a lot of screaming and shouting. I normally stay at one side of the schoolyard whenever a fight or anything like that is going on. But at that moment I ran into the crowd and saw her [Campbell] walking with blood coming from her neck,” Dixon said.
“So I said, ‘So nobody nah go help?’ So mi a try part the crowd now. She walked off and the person who was holding on to her was just screaming and shouting her name. She fell and everybody eased back and that gave me a better chance to get to her,” she added.
At that time, Dixon said she went on her knees, threw her bag to the ground and started rendering first aid.
“I tried to see where she was bleeding from because a lot of blood was on her shirt. Mi put mi hand there and mi see the damage. Same time mi seh to myself, ‘Jesus Christ, we a go lose her,’ but I still trusted God. Everybody round mi just did a scream and call out her name and a make a whole lot of noise.
“The football coach was there; he panicked and kept asking what was wrong. He had a bib in his hand and I grabbed it because I realised my [uniform] shirt couldn’t help because it was thin, so it would have soaked up the blood,” Dixon told the Observer.
The 17-year-old fifth-form student said she used the bib to press on the wound to Campbell’s neck, but the injured girl started to gasp and her body became rigid.
“Mi realise say mi cyaan help her no more,” Dixon said, in-between sobs.
She said the dean at the school decided to rush Campbell to Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), about a 10-minute drive away.
“I was the only person in the back of the car with her. I realised she had a pulse and it was getting lower, so she was dying. So I was talking to her, touching her to keep her awake. Although I know I couldn’t save her, I was still trying until when I looked at her in my arms, she took her last breath,” Dixon said.
“We didn’t reach at KPH as yet, but I couldn’t tell them she’s dead. I was just saying to them ‘Hurry, hurry, and drive up, wi a go lose her.’ The dean was trying to clear the way to reach. When I reached to KPH and I looked at her, I knew she was already dead. The two persons at KPH and I took her out of the car. We practically knew she was dead, but they said they were still carrying her into the hospital,” said Dixon, who revealed that she learnt first aid at St Patrick Rangers â€” a non-government organisation that builds the capacities of youth in vulnerable communities with disaster risk management skills.
On learning of Dixon’s effort, the organisation lauded her.
“St Patrick Rangers would like to commend first responder Ranger K Dixon for rendering first aid assistance, although the victim succumbed to her injuries. Our prayers and condolences go out to her family and friends,” the organisation said in a Facebook post.
In the meantime, Dixon is advocating that first response training be taught in high schools.
“I did first aid. I know what to do and how to react. I think that they should teach it in the schools from fourth form, so children will know how to respond in times of trouble. I would want that to happen,” she said.