All her life she had her hopes set on becoming one of the best cosmetologists locally, running her businesses and satisfying clients. But her dream was shattered when a man, unbeknown to her, drugged her drink, raped her, and left her with twins to care for.
*Stacy Grey told Family & Religion that she lived in Kingston with her father, but when he died, she went to Manchester to live with relatives. She later moved to Montego Bay to seek work for a better life, but that would not be so.
"I was there in Montego Bay where my friend got a job for me. It was a bar job. Two weeks into the job, one night after closing (the bar), we went to a party. We left and came back home. We were drinking - it was me and my friend and a gentleman that lived at the house - and all I know is that when I woke up in the morning, there was blood all over me.
"I started panicking because when I checked myself it seemed I had been drugged and raped. I run out to the pharmacy to buy a morning-after pill, but months after, I realised that it didn't work.
"I had to come back to Manchester. I was staying at this unfinished house and I couldn't let anybody know that I was staying there. I came out early mornings and go in very late at night. I didn't even have a bed to sleep on. I slept on the floor, while pregnant. My relatives are here, but they don't really business with me. They stick more to their immediate family," she said.
The 25-year-old, who had a daughter prior to her ordeal, decided to go and stay with her, where she lived with her (daughter's) father, but after about three weeks, she said she started feeling contractions and had to go the hospital.
"I was just seven months' pregnant and the babies were born. All the time I was pregnant, I thought I was only having one baby. It was during delivery that I realised I was having twins."
She continued, breathing heavily, forcing back tears, "As the second baby came out, I felt bad because I don't have anywhere to stay, no bed to sleep on, no family to come and rescue me, and I was going to give them up for adoption. I was in the hospital about two weeks, I had no visitors and no family member called me. My pressure kept going up and down, and things seemed like hell - everything tumble down."
Grey said a nurse enquired about her and referred her to a lady who could offer her shelter.
"I am very happy I was rescued, but I can't expect this woman to take care of me and my two babies. I still need to do something to help myself ... ."
Her words became inaudible and for a few minutes her tears were the only language spoken.
"I need some help for myself and my two babies. My family seem as if they don't care at all. From my father died years ago, it's as if I have no one in this world. I have siblings, but they can't really help me because they have their family to take care of. My mother is still alive, but she is very sick and can barely walk."
Grey said that even though her daughter lives with her father, she would want to know that she is able to take care of her, too.
"I would love to get a job. I would do a live-in job to take care of an elderly person or a baby. I am a very hard worker and really want to be able to take care of my children. Right now, I don't have enough breast milk for two, and I have to give them formula, which is expensive, and I can't rely on the lady alone giving me shelter, so if anyone can help me, I would really appreciate it."
Grey said that it is still her dream to work in the cosmetology field and believes that there is a light at the end of her very dark tunnel.
To help Raquel Grey
share her story or call her caregiver at (876) 421-3453.
* Name changed upon request.