Fri | Jun 2, 2023

Teen Westmoreland burn victim recognised at award dinner

Published:Thursday | March 30, 2023 | 9:38 AM
From Left: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Sheila Sealy Monteith, with Project Manager at Sanmerna Foundation, Stephen Josephs, 13-year-old Adrianna Laing, and Consul General of Jamaica for Southern USA, Oliver Mair, at a dinner in Laing’s honour at the Island Space Caribbean Museum at the Broward Mall in Florida on March 30. - Ashley Anguin photo.

Thirteen-year-old Adrianna Laing, who has become a recognisable figure after surviving severe burns from a house fire, got elevated higher with a special Diaspora recognition award last night.

Laing, who was hospitalised for six months in the United States and had 26 surgeries, received the Diaspora Community Award from the Consul General of Jamaica, Southern United States, Oliver Mair, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Sheila Sealy Monteith during a dinner held for her at the Island Space Caribbean Museum at the Broward Mall in Florida.

Project manager of Sanmerna Foundation, Stephen Josephs, who was instrumental in securing help for Laing, was likewise recognised with a Humanitarian Award.

“We wanted to show how much we appreciate her. I mean Adrianna is our Jamaican little miracle and she has shown a lot of courage and resilience. Going through 26 surgeries and still having that countenance of getting through, believing, the faithful disposition after facing adversity is so admirable,” Mair said during the dinner.

Laing expressed surprised at receiving the award.

“I am happy for this and really grateful. I honestly thought I was just coming for a dinner, so thank you,” said the teen.

On September 4 last year, Adrianna with her younger siblings were in a house fire where her brothers, nine-year-old Adrianno and seven-year-old twins Jorden and Jayden, perished.

Adrianna will return to Jamaica today where she will reunite with her friends and family.

- Ashley Anguin

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at or