The sports fraternity in Guyana and overseas has been plunged into mourning following the shocking death of former National Cycling Champion and businessman Wilbert Benjamin.
The 49 year old overseas based Benjamin, who hails from Fyrish and lives in Canada, represented Guyana both at the senior and junior level on a number of occasions. He is the owner of the Benjamin Sports Store, Fitness Center and Car Wash at Courtland, Corentyne, Berbice.
According to information, Benjamin, who still rides and would return home on a regular basis to take care of his business and compete, died on Monday evening at the Georgetown Public Hospital. He died more than one month after he was involved in an accident involving a hire car and a motorcycle on the Hampshire Public Road.
It was on the morning of Friday 14th August whilst Benjamin was training that a motor car drove out in front of him causing a collision between him and a motorcycle.
He fell unconscious and was reportedly taken to the police outposts instead of the hospital. Family members confirmed that Benjamin sustained internal head injuries. His niece, Lucene Benjamin told the media that he was hospitalised for some time at the Anamayah Memorial Hospital and underwent a number of CT scans but was told on several instances that he was fine and there was no severe injury to his head.
She stated that despite assurances from the hospital her uncle complained of constant headaches.
His health began to deteriorating and he was taken to a private doctor and back to the Anamayah hospital where another scan was done and it was then that the family was told that Benjamin suffered a broken skull, he was bleeding internally and there was a swelling which was pressing against his brain.
It was then that they were told that he has to do a surgery at the St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital. By then Benjamin who was hospitalized at the hospital became restless and subsequently fell into a coma.Whilst being transferred on Monday to the St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital by an ambulance attached to the Anamayah Hospital the vehicle turned back after it was realized that they did not have enough oxygen available in the tank which was hooked up to the patient.
By then Benjamin was taken into the hospital and placed on a Life Saving Machine. The family was then told that Berbice Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic which caused further delay. When they got to the St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital they were told that Neurosurgeon, Dr Amarnauth Dukhi was not available. He was them transferred to the Georgetown Hospital. However, Benjamin succumbed at about 1:00am Tuesday morning.
The family is calling for a thorough investigation to be done for the negligence of the Anamayah Memorial Hospital.
His brother Gary said that despite assurances from the hospital they feel they were not told the truth. He said his brother was discharged from the hospital; he began complaining of constant headaches. His brother was kept too long at the hospital he noted.
Benjamin, who also owns a business in Canada, was very benevolent. He would return home on a regular basis where he would give a number of donations of cycles and parts and other implements to cyclists and others throughout the country. He would also sponsor numerous races, including for his mother and father’s birthdays.
He leaves to mourn his wife and five daughters who are all overseas, along with his elderly father and mother along with eight siblings, four brothers and four sisters.
The family is calling for a full investigation as to what transpired at the private institution.
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