STAR article leads to outpouring of goodwill - Body of late Hyacinth Mendez arrive from Barbados
The family of the late of Hyacinth Mendez has expressed gratitude for our story "Help us bury our mother Dead woman's children want to bring body back to JA" published on January 4.
Following the publication of the article, the family was able to raise sufficient funds to repatriate Mendez's body to Jamaica from Barbados.
"It's almost like a relief having her here. I saw her [body] yesterday, it was a lot of mixed emotions. The plans are now in full force to lay her to rest," Annette Fraser, Mendez's eldest daughter, told THE STAR
Mendez's body arrived in Jamaica on Friday. The funeral will be held at the Santa Cruz Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday, February 5, 2017, at 11 a.m.
"She is here. The story helped to propel persons to contribute to the GoFundMe, and persons made direct contact and persons made direct contribution. It sparked interest in the Barbados newspaper. I was shocked when I got a call from the Nation News in Barbados saying they saw the article online and said they wanted to do a story on it," Fraser said.
"The news also sparked the Jamaican Consulate to make contact. We couldn't find their location. When we googled, [but] it said the office was relocated, and we didn't know where it was relocated to. However, after that, they made contact," she said.
Fraser told THE STAR that the funeral home also discounted its final care costs.
"We didn't have to reach to the full amount that we wanted, so from the donations received we were able to repatriate her. There was some cost that they just absorbed."
The family, on January 2, used GoFundMe, a crowd funding platform, to appeal for assistance to have Mendez's body returned to Jamaica for burial. To date US$1,025 (J$132,000) of the US$3,000 (J$386,600) target has been pledged.
Mendez, a 59-year-old dressmaker, spent the last 10 years of her life in Barbados working hard to take care of her family in Jamaica.
The Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, native died on Christmas Day in Barbados, only a week after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
The daughters had said that the cost BBD$10,000 (approximately J$644,219) stood in their way of shipping Mendez's remains home for burial.
"The bereaved family of Hyacinth Mendez expresses sincere gratitude to THE STAR for the publication of the family's effort in generating sufficient funds to repatriate Hyacinth's body to Jamaica from Barbados," Fraser said.