Senator Avinash Singh had to jump into a river to preserve his life on Saturday, after being attacked by a swarm of bees.
Up to late yesterday, Singh, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, remained warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, after being stung by more than a hundred bees.
Singh, a registered farmer, was ploughing his father’s land in Felicity, Chaguanas, when the bees invaded the area and swarmed around him, the T&T Guardian was told.
Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat, who spent hours at Singh’s hospital bedside yesterday, said he was allergic to the insects and had to be rushed to hospital, where he received emergency treatment.
Rambharat said: “Avinash was working on a plot that his father plants. He was alone at the time and fled from the tractor. He ended up jumping into a river for safety and was rescued from there by people who heard and saw what was happening.”
Singh was taken by ambulance to the Chaguanas Health Facility where he was stabilised and later transferred to the EWMSC. Rambharat said Singh’s condition was improving yesterday.
“He can move and can speak but he is being supplied with oxygen to assist his breathing,” Rambharat said.
“I have been in touch with him continuously. I spent several hours with him yesterday (Saturday), late into the night.
“He will be spending some more time at the hospital as doctors monitor his breathing and other vital signs. He is allergic to the bee stings and had to be stabilised.”
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said he spoke with Singh’s wife Ria Ragoo and was told he was out of danger.
“All systems worked, he never called for assistance. He got excellent service at Chaguanas Health Facility and he is being treated well.
“He will remain warded for a 48-hour period for observation,” Deyalsingh added. Singh is a University of the West Indies Agricultural Science graduate.
Singh later issued the following statement:
Yesterday at around 1.00pm while assisting my father in the garden I accidentally drove over a bee hive with a tractor, upon realizing the danger I was in, I immediately left the tractor and ran but was attacked by close to 200 bees, I ran towards a river for safety and cried for help while I felt each pierce of stings entering my face, head and body, I collapsed short of the river as my body became unresponsive and being further attacked on the ground, determined to go in the river, I got up and leaped in the river where 90% of my body was submerged in water, mud and grass, only my face was exposed and the more I cried for help the more the bees stung me, after which I heard a reply in the distance from my screams, a voice said to stay there that they are calling the ambulance and going for help as they could not come to me as they also got stung as the bees were circulating above me. By this time I was told that my body was totally unresponsive, speech impaired, body in shock and in danger of drowning.
My father together with nearby farmers came to the rescue and bodily removed me from the river and placed me on the tray of a his van and drove towards a pickup point for the ambulance, luckily they stopped by a village medical doctor who upon learning of the emergency immediately left his patients and administered an injection to me for allergic reactions. A few minutes later I was taken by Ambulance to the Chaguanas Health Center where the doctors and nurses began treatment in order to have me stabilized, I only realized how many stings I got as the medical team began tweezing out the small needle like stings which was attached to sacks of venom from the bees, stabilizing became challenging as there were so many stings and I began to vomit continuously what appeared to be a yellow liquid with a strong chemical smell. The head doctor immediately ordered a transfer to Mt Hope hospital after the vomiting paused for a short while. After the transfer, the vomiting continued even at Mt. Hope while waiting to be registered and be attended to. Later on I was checked by doctors, administered medication at higher dosages and stabilized where I am still warded for treatment and observation.
Today I am feeling much better, in high spirits thanking God for life but kept on a machine to assist my breathing with a supply of oxygen as there still exist a small challenge to my breathing.
I wish to thank the following for my very life at this point.
.The young couple who heard my cries and went for help
.The farmers that removed me from the river
. My Wife Ria, Parents, Family, Relatives, Villagers and Friends who never left my side.
. All the medical personnel who had some part to play from the private doctor in Felicity, Ambulance Team, Chaguanas Health Center and now Mt. Hope.
. Minister Clarence Rambharat who was at my side late last night and was responsible for updating my colleagues on my progress.
. The Honourable Prime Minister, Ministers and Colleagues who all stayed in contact with my family and I offering support and prayers.
. The General Public on both sides of the political divide for the many messages of hope and prayer.
I’m required to stay warded for a short time for further monitoring and oxygen and assure everyone reading this that there is a God, and with His blessings I will be out in a few days fully recovered and back to work serving this beautiful Country and people of Trinidad and Tobago.
I say thank you all.