No Arms, No problem - Man operates juice business despite losing both hands
With both arms severed just above the elbows, many persons would have given up on life, but not 53-year-old Winston Barr, who owns and operates the Ju-cee Barrs bag juice factory in Maroon Town, St James.
At 19 years old, Barr was working with an engineering company as a ‘steel man’ when he met a terrible accident.
“It was a regular day at work. I was on a roof pulling up a length of steel and it went above my head and came in contact with some high-tension wires, and I was badly burnt. They [doctors] had to amputate my arms about five days after,” he said.
Barr said losing both arms was and is still challenging, but he has never used his situation as an excuse. He still maintains a warm, jovial personality, and a positive outlook on life.
source of income
“I was born with both my arms so I know what it’s like to have two arms and then to just wake up one morning not having them, it’s challenging, but I made certain decision to live and that’s what keeps me going,” Barr shared.
Shortly after his arms were amputated, Barr met a caring and supportive woman named Tollentio, whom he later married. Their union produced two girls, Melisa 32, and Sushane, 34.
Realising he now had a family of his own to take care of, Barr had to find a source of income, but felt no one would hire a double amputee.
“I had to find myself a way to survive and somehow the bag juice came into play. I had never seen it done before, but I thought it was something good to do at the time, and now it’s still a good thing to do,” Barr declared.
With some of the compensatory money he received from his former employers, Barr sought guidance from the Bureau of Standards on how to execute his bag juice operation.
His operation, which began in his family kitchen, has grown over the years and is now a machine operated bag juice factory. He employs family members, who assist in the daily operations of the business, which distributes to numerous entities in St James and Trelawny.
Like all businesses, Ju-cee Barrs encounters challenges, but it is owned and operated by a man with the will of steel.
“I get up each day and I go out, people are amazed to see how a man without arms still go out and survive. People see me as an inspiration to show that once you make up your mind to do something, it can work. I think God has placed me here to show people that life still goes on,” Barr said.
As a double amputee for more than 34 years, Barr is no stranger to frustration and less than ideal situations in life, but he has a word of encouragement to those who feel hopeless.
“Everyone of us have something that we have to live with and we have no control over, but we can’t give up because of that. We just have to make the best out of whatever situation that presents itself, and ask God for the strength to deal with it,” advised Barr.
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