Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Heartbreaking - 8-y-o cancer patient granted wish to see Usain Bolt dies

Published:Monday | February 5, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Jerodene Bailey receives a visit from Usain Bolt (second left) as her parents, Rasheda and Jermaine Bailey, look on.

Cancer has snatched the life of a young girl, whose video on social media went viral as she appealed for sprinting sensation Usain Bolt to visit her while in hospital.

Jerodene Bailey, 8, lost her battle with cancer at the weekend after a long struggle with the illness.

She had been in hospital while her condition deteriorated, but had maintained a strong spirit and managed to share moments on social media site Facebook with thousands of well-wishers who had admired her striking personality.

It was through Facebook that she made an emotional appeal to Bolt to pay her a visit "in real life".

"I am a big fan of Usain Bolt! So, Usain Bolt, if you are hearing me right now, I wish I could see you in real life," young Bailey recorded in her video message, noting that she was "very ill".

Her wish would eventually come true when the sprinting superstar saw the video and made good on a promise to visit her.

She was said to be delighted by his visit, though she was physically weak.

From that visit, even more persons became interested in Bailey's struggle, and, by January 27, the Optimist Club of Mandeville had dropped off a cheque at the University Hospital of the West Indies with the hope that she could continue to fight the dreaded disease.

 

TRIBUTES FLOW

 

Late last Saturday, it was announced that Bailey had died and, almost immediately, tributes poured began pouring in.

Her parents, Rasheda and Jermaine Bailey, who had struggled with her during her fight, were featured in many of the tributes which eventually poured over on to other social media spaces.

Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, in paying tribute to Bailey, wrote on Facebook: "Although I already shared my Sunday inspiration message, I had to say thanks to little Jerodene. Her journey touched many of us. She was such a beam of light and joy. Jerodene inspired many of us. SIP, little Angel".

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com