Wed | Aug 23, 2017

'My laptop saved me'...St Mary pastor forgives man who shot him

Published:Saturday | December 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM
St Mary-based Seventh-day Adventist pastor Dobson Campbell, holding the blood-stained and bullet-ridden laptop that saved his life.

PORT MARIA, St Mary:

On 15th June 2015, Seventh-day Adventist pastor Dobson Campbell was shot by an unknown gunman, while walking home in the town of Port Maria, St Mary. Although he feared for his life and almost lost the use of the fingers on his left hand, six months later, Campbell has almost fully-recovered and hopes to one day help his assailant find Christ.

Speaking earlier this week, he told Family and Religion: "At the time, I was at home and decided to walk down to Port Maria for some exercise and to visit a body repairman who is working on a car for me. They have Wi-Fi down there, so I was wondering whether to carry my laptop or my tablet, and The Holy Spirit of God said to me: 'Carry the laptop.'

"On the way back, I was walking past Juicy Beef and talking on the phone when I felt something in my hand, and heard a loud sound. I told the person on the phone that I had been shot and then heard a barrage of gunfire.

"The gunman was shooting at someone else who was in a confined area, so we couldn't see each other. I was holding the laptop close to my chest with my left-hand, so the first shot caught my hand, shattered the radius bone, and bounced off the laptop.

"The person shooting was in close proximity, so the laptop saved me. If I had brought the tablet or been holding the laptop another way, the bullet would have entered my chest."

Campbell was rushed to hospital where doctors began working to save his hand and arm, and although he was badly shaken, the pastor for the Highgate District eventually learned to forgive the gunman.

He said: "While I was at the hospital, they brought in the other person (who had been shot). The doctors tried to resuscitate him, but he died. I thought I'd been shot in my heart and was gonna die too because there was blood all over my shirt. I had to have a piece of metal about six inches long placed in my arm.

"It was really shocking for me because I'd never experienced anything like that before. At first, it was difficult because I feared the attacker was going to come back and kill me, but I've passed that stage now and still walk to Port Maria and back for exercise.

"I don't know who it was, but I've forgiven the person who shot me because people make mistakes in life. He may know me because I'm a pastor in the area, but one of these days, I would like to baptise or marry him using the same damaged hand."

Next year, Campbell plans to host a health fair in Highgate and is determined to continue doing the work he enjoys. He said: "It's a miracle the laptop was made out of metal rather than plastic, and I thank God for sparing my life.

"I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do baptisms because that's what I love to do, but obviously, the Lord spared me for a purpose."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com