Wednesday 3rd June 2015, turned out to be an unexpected and terrifying turning point in the early lives of two siblings from Micoud, 18 Year old Kudisha and 16 year old Kerwin Francis.
On that day, a fire in the village consumed four buildings, leaving eleven members of an extended family homeless. One of the buildings and the family affected by the fire was their own.
When the fire broke out, Kudisha and Kerwin, who were in another room with their parents, realised that their younger sister, Rebecca, was not with them. Ignoring the fact that he suffers from asthma, Kerwin immediately went to rescue Rebecca from the room they all believed her to be trapped in. When he retreated with burns to his face, overcome by smoke and unable to breathe, Kudisha leapt into action, running into the burning room in search of their younger sister. Their mother, who had managed to escape from the building, was heard saying that Rebecca had got out through a window and was safe. At that point Kudisha left the building with Kerwin. By then, she had already suffered burns to the right side of her body, face, arm and leg.
After the fire, when Kudisha and Kerwin were asked about their actions Kudisha’s simple response was, “I couldn’t bear the thought of my little sister getting burnt”.
For their outstanding bravery and courage in the face of extreme peril, Miss Kudisha Francis and Mr Kerwin Francis are awarded the Saint Lucia Medal of Honour (Gold).