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72-y-o jumps to death at UHWI

Published:Thursday | February 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

A 72-year-old man who jumped from a section of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) yesterday did so in stark contrast to the circumstances under which another man leapt from the high-rise structure of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) two years ago.

Clifton Hardware, an inpatient of the UHWI who had been ailing for some time, jumped to his death yesterday afternoon.

The elderly man hobbled to a balcony and jumped. But unlike the noisy spectacle two years ago, when Wayne Saunders leapt from an upper floor at the KPH, there was no roaring crowd.

Without warning

Chief executive officer of the UHWI, Dr Trevor McCartney, told
The Gleaner
that Hardware, a patient of Ward Eight at the facility, made his way to the balcony without warning and jumped, despite efforts by a female nurse to restrain him.

He said the incident took place at 2:30 in the afternoon and Hardware was pronounced dead at 3:20.

McCartney described the situation as most unfortunate.

"We offer sincere condolence to his family, and I would like to publicly commend the nurse who made an effort to restrain him but was overpowered," McCartney said.

At the KPH two years ago, Saunders jumped from a ledge, to the horror of some onlookers and egged on by others. The troubled young man was impaled by a spiked fence and suffered serious spinal injuries.