Jennifer Freckleton from the Linstead area of St. Catherine thought she was doing good to a woman who requested prayer from her.
But she ended up being doused with an acidic substance by the said woman.
The incident transpired in 2010 when Freckleton, a devout Christian, was a 45-year-old mother of three.
She explained that a strange woman one day telephoned her requesting prayer for an imprisoned brother.
The stranger wanted Freckleton to do the prayer in person – not via phone.
“The person said she heard that I am a Christian,” Freckleton said. “I didn’t know she wanted to hurt me.”
Being steeped in Christianity, Freckleton, who was baptized at age 26, ignored three ominous signs.
She eventually got the shock of her life when she met the strange woman in the Kingston area.
“The woman took away my bag with everything in it and told me to give her my phone and money. I told her to take everything that was in the bag,” Freckleton recalled.
“When I turned around, it was a liquid I saw coming in my face. When the liquid hit me, I realized that it was something hot – something that was burning my skin. I got third degree burns to my face, hands and chest.”
Freckleton added that, as a result of the injuries, she spent seven months in Kingston Public Hospital. She also ended up doing five plastic surgeries at National Chest Hospital – the last being in November 2011.
The road to healing was bumpy.
“It took a while [for me to start healing],” Freckleton said. “Sometimes when I thought I was really up there and everything was okay, when I look in the mirror, it just brings back memories. But now, these last days, it’s not so bad.”
Freckleton claimed that, as a result of the incident, she was stigmatized by members of the church that she was attending at Ewarton in St. Catherine up to the time of the ordeal.
“I had to leave because they looked down on me in that church,” she told The Beacon.
Freckleton now attends another church in the Ewarton area – a church that makes her feel welcomed. “I am choir leader and praise and worship leader there,” she noted, adding that her current church significantly helps her to heal spiritually and psychologically.
Freckleton further stated that, despite her scars, she feels loved by her family and most people with whom she has come in contact.
“I am glad about that, because it helped my healing process,” she said.
Freckleton also expressed delight that, after being released from hospital, she was allowed to return to her job as an Accounting Clerk at Tinling Supermarket in Ewarton. She started to work there in 2001, and eventually resigned in 2016.
Freckleton’s attacker was never caught – something the survivor said she is never fussy about, considering that she feared for her family’s safety.
She told The Beacon that she has forgiven the attacker.
“Yes, I have [forgiven her],” Freckleton reasoned. “You have to forgive people for yourself; not for them. I have a relationship with God. I couldn’t be a praise and worship leader and a choir leader in church and don’t encourage people to have a heart of forgiveness. So, I had to forgive her.”
Freckleton would like to eventually be remembered ‘as a good, kind-hearted person’.
She advised people to be wary of meeting strangers.
“Not because you are a child of God and you are filled with the Holy Spirit and you think you can manage on your own, seek intervention first,” added Freckleton, who originally is from Riversdale in St. Catherine.
She was six years old when she relocated to live with a sister who was a teacher.
Freckleton attended the primary schools where her sisters taught – Mount Fletcher Primary in St. Andrew and Point Hill Leased Primary in St. Catherine. She is also an alumna of Dinthill Technical High School.
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