When Kareen Duggon came home from the bookshop last Friday afternoon and saw a massive crowd converged in her community, she had no clue it was her youngest son who had attracted their attention.
And, when she learnt that her son, 12-year-old Renaldo Reynolds, was being swept away in the swift murky waters in the gully along Collie Smith Drive in Trench Town, Kingston, she fainted.
"One likkle boy say a Garnet (Reynolds' house name). Mi just start bawl and di people dem have to hold mi because mi a try jump inna the water, and mi just block out from that. Mi nuh know myself," the cookshop operator said.
Duggon told THE STAR that she never got back to full consciousness until the morning after when Reynolds' father brought him home from the hospital.
Duggon had gone to the bookshop to purchase textbooks for Reynolds' Grade Six Achievement Test preparation, but if it wasn't for the heroic effort of a soft-spoken 24-year-old man named Tremayne Brown, Reynolds' dreams of matriculating to high school would have been extinct.
Brown was doing day's work at the Boys' Town Football Club sporting facility when he heard the noise from the crowd that Reynolds was being swept by the water in the gully.
"As I run out and see him in the gully, I jumped into the water and grabbed a hold of him, and me and him was going down the gully. So as we come down there towards May Pen [Cemetery], I see a branch on the side, so I hold it," Brown recalled.
Duggon, who is the mother to four other boys, said the tragic event has given her a sixth son.
"Mi woulda say that man is next to God. I would take him like a mi son. The way mi love him now, mi don't even know how to explain it," an emotional Duggon told THE STAR.
"Yesterday, when mi go look for him and go buy some medications for him, mi just couldn't stop hugging him because it was like a God mi a look pon. He is not a friend. He is my son."
But even as she expressed her gratitude for Brown's selfless act, Duggon still couldn't believe that the gully she had constantly warned Reynolds about almost took his life.
"Mi always tell him not to go around that gully because a four pickney dead inna da gully deh," Duggon said with tears streaming down her face.
Reynolds, who was just coming from church when THE STAR visited his home yesterday, said he was among a group of boys testing current of the flood waters when he slipped and fell into the gully.
"We did a throw things in it and put like one foot in the water, then my foot slip, and the water get stronger and start wash me weh," the Jones Town Primary School student recounted.
Since the incident, residents of Trench Town and Arnett Gardens, where Duggon lives with Reynolds, took to social media to urge the public to celebrate Brown's heroic act by sharing his photo.
But Brown told THE STAR that he doesn't feel like a hero because he was only doing what comes naturally.
"If someone was gonna float away, I would just help," Brown said in a thick British accent.
He said his dream now is to secure a permanent job, as he has only been able to secure odd jobs since he was deported from the United Kingdom six months ago.