Courage and love: Mother dies trying to rescue her children

 UPDATED: November 29, 2012

Lynette Stoute awarded Barbados Bravery Medal

On this National Independence Day, our thoughts go to Lynette Stoute and her family and friends.

Lynette is certainly worthy of the honour and of our remembrance. What this nation could do and be if each of us had 1/10th of her courage!

May God bless Lynette Stoute and her family

submitted by an old friend

When Lynette Stoute thought her three children were still in their burning home, she did not hesitate. Lynette ran into the flames and paid the ultimate price for her love as she was critically burned over 83 percent of her body. She died Tuesday in the hospital in Panama.

Children survived

Fortunately Lynette’s children were already safe outside the home, but that in no way diminishes Lynette’s valour. She died knowing they were safe.

I don’t know the exact circumstances of the fire or how the children escaped or if a designated meeting place would have saved Lynette in that moment when she made up her mind to try to save her children, but I will take the opportunity to remind everyone about this important safety decision.

The importance of an “Emergency Meeting Place”

Sadly, the situation that brought about Lynette’s death has happened many times before when loved ones arrive to find a home on fire and no family members outside. That’s why it is so important to have an “Emergency Meeting Place” that every family member knows is where you immediately go when there is a fire or other disaster in the home. That way all family members can be quickly accounted for – and if someone arrives before the fire fighters they can look at that tree or telephone pole that is the family meeting place and they can see immediately that everyone is safe.

The meeting place should typically be visible to everyone in front of the home but far enough away that it is removed from danger and will not interfere with the fire fighters when they arrive. A meeting place is no good if the fire personnel order you away from it.

Once you arrive at the meeting place, you stay there until the fire is out or until friends and family know you are safe. Resist the temptation leave the meeting place too soon, and make sure the babysitters are thoroughly briefed about it.

I don’t know if having an Emergency Meeting Place would have saved Lynette Stoute because I don’t know enough about what happened at the time she ran into the burning home*, but if your family sets up a meeting place it might help you avoid the tragedy that took this courageous mother from her loved ones.

* (Editor’s note: Judging by the current story at Barbados Today, a meeting place may have saved Lynette Stoute. See Mother succumbs to injuries )

Photo courtesy of The Nation: My last baby is gone, cries dad


Filed under Barbados

11 responses to “Courage and love: Mother dies trying to rescue her children

  1. Greg

    This is heartbreaking news, even though it is inspirational on another level.

  2. xtrapolicious

    was she away from the house and left the childrens alone?

  3. wstraughn

    Thanks for the advice BFP… It’s a very sad incident but if we can learn from it , then her sacrifice was not in vain … on a speculative note, I do wish they had taken her to the USA as they seem to have very advanced burn treatment centers there… see below

  4. GenY

    I read that Barbados Today story. Sad to say that a meeting place probably would have saved her. If only she had seen her children in front of the home when she arrived.

  5. Fire Escape Plan!

    I agree with GenY. It is obvious that if she had seen her children she wouldn’t have run into the burning home.

    I hadn’t heard of a family meeting place before but there are many articles online about this and creating a fire escape plan. DO IT!

    a0 Proximity- A safe meeting place should be close to the home, but not so close as to be in danger from the fire.

    b) “Location, location, location”- It’s important that your safe meeting place is located in front of the house. It is very important that fire safety personnel easily see you as they arrive so (a) they will know you are out of the home, and (b) you will be able to quickly inform them if someone has not made it out of the house.

    c) “X marks the spot!”-Pick a safe meeting place that will be easy to find whether it is day or night. The best way to do this is by selecting a safe meeting place that is clearly marked by a non-moving item, such as a telephone pole, tree or neigbor’s front porch. Do not use anything that may move, such as a car, and avoid picking a location that will place you in the way of emergency personnel or equipment.

  6. Spinelli

    They should stuck to the plan to bring her to the USA. I never knew Panama had such advanced facilities for patients with such severe burns. There were firemen who got 85- 90 degree burns, though they were critical they survived. She should have given that chance. Money should not be an issue ( if it was) because she made the ultimate sacrifice.

  7. Breadfruit

    So very sad, condolences to her family. Unfortunately people who receive over 70% burns rarely survive .

  8. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    NO greater Love than this when a man lay down his life for his friend. This mother is a hero and died showing that true love will make the sacrifice when it is necessary. She should not just be remembered she should be awarded for this single act of bravery

  9. BFP

    @ Sunshine Sunny Shine

    You have raised a most serious issue, and after consideration I believe you have something here.

    It is good and right that we recognize true heroes and leaders because their deeds stand as touchstones for us in a sea of changes and chaos.

    There should be a formal investigation of her action – don’t forget we are all relying upon news reports (ptooey!!!). The investigation, documentation and assessment of her action should be totally nonpolitical. Some acts of bravery may not be enough for the standard. Some are.

    Sunshine… how do we start a national movement to accomplish what we believe should be done?

    Think about it. Don’t reply right away. We will assist in whatever way we can, but we are anonymous. So are you. It will take someone with a name to lead.

    Those are our immediate thoughts about your excellent suggestion.

    How do we make it happen?

  10. While it is nice that Lynette Stoute was acknowledged for her Bravery in this year’s Independence Awards I still feel it is better to provide her surviving children a financial stipend to help them at school as they get older, where would the funding emerge?

    Well instead of the lavish ceremony the Central Bank held in May for their 40th Anniversary or the $600,000 wasted on Alexandra’s inquiry which the Public Service Commission cannot base any recommendations off the Inquiry’s deliberation since they have to do their own search – finances instead diverted to a worthwhile effort like ensuring the surviving children have an education into University level where they do not have to think for meals or clothing is a far better boon bestowed than what I mentioned before…The Central Bank is usually a financial angel for the Barbadian Arts Community, perhaps they can look to this in the coming fiscal year?

    As for Lynette herself, they are so quick to rename schools, in this case why not have a Police Station or Fire Dept branch renamed in her honour, maybe even both? No galloping ceremony, a simple affair where you invite schoolchildren as an opportunity to impart Fire Safety techniques so we can avoid such a tragedy ever again, if possible?

  11. Tony Webster

    Touche, Mr. Bourne! However, don’t hold your breath for any self-serving politician to do the “decent thing”. Umm, they’re very busy right now.