W. Connection Football Club captain and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, 27, will try to maintain his team's Caribbean Club Championship hopes tonight while his fiancée, Candice Worrell, literally fights for her life at the St Clair Medical Centre in Port of Spain.
Worrell, a Health and Safety Officer at Jenexcon Engineering as well as a model and beauty queen, was brutally assaulted outside her work place in Montrose, Chaguanas on January 20 and is yet to regain consciousness. She should turn 29-years-old on February 8 but, according to Williams, doctors gave her just a 50 percent chance of surviving her injuries.
Williams, a member of Trinidad and Tobago's 2001 Under-17 World Cup squad and the national senior team's reserve goalkeeper, is distraught by the incident. The young couple lives together in Couva and has a 10-month-old daughter, Nevaeh—heaven spelt backward.
“If anyone in the world deserves this, I don’t think God will pick out Candice,” the W. Connection goalkeeper told Wired868. “Not that what happened to her… I’m trying to believe that everything will take care of itself in the end.”
Worrell, whose smile appears on Digicel billboards nationwide and was Trinidad and Tobago’s delegate for Miss Tourism Queen International 2009 in China, was found lying unconscious in a pool of blood, two weeks ago. Her jaw was broken in two places and her cheekbone was also shattered while doctors initially suspected brain damage.
Her white Blackberry Curve cellular phone and wallet were missing and presumed stolen. No one has been arrested as yet and Williams has not heard from the police since the incident.
Williams did his own investigating but is frustrated by conflicting reports from Worrell's fellow employees as well as the workman of a neighbouring business who found her. Medical examination revealed that Worrell was not sexually assaulted and the footballer believes the assailant was scared off by a worker who went to investigate a strange noise.
Williams has been at his fiancée's side daily although he rejoined his club in training on Saturday; after Worrell went into ICU and her permitted visiting hours were substantially reduced.
Today, he will lead out Connection from 8 pm in the second game of a Pro League double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The south-based football club, who is fourth at present, needs at least a draw tonight and a minimum of four points from tonight's game and Saturday's clash with Police FC to have any chance of a top two finish and a spot in the 2012 Caribbean Club Championship.
Williams praised the support from his coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier and club owner David John-Williams—he is not related to his namesake—throughout the ordeal.
John-Williams lent his team captain a company vehicle since the catastrophe and the "Soca Warrior" has used it to shuttle between home and his fiancée's bedside.
The goalkeeper wants to help his club, which is brimming with young talent, but admits that football is just a temporary distraction at the moment. He has no idea how he will prepare mentally for tonight's contest against league leaders, T&TEC.
He knows that his fiancée faces a much more formidable challenge.
The goalkeeper remains bitterly dissatisfied with the work of the Chaguanas Police Station and the initial health care provided by Mt Hope General Hospital. However, he was effusive in his praise of the doctors and staff at St Clair.
Williams will not countenance anything but success for his beauty queen.
"Candice is the strongest person I know," said Williams, who played professionally in Belgium and Hungary, "that is why I am convinced she will fight through this. She is a fighter...
"Everybody loves Candice. She is a real caring and friendly person."