Crowdfunding page set up by Dagenham woman to bring home body of brother who died in Oklahoma
PUBLISHED: 11:08 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:08 05 June 2017
The sister of a man who died suddenly in the United States has begun a crowdfunding campaign to bring his body home.
Kristina Girling, of Raydons Road, Dagenham says her brother Joseph Girling, 40, suffered a fatal seizure on Saturday, May 27 due to an enlargement of the heart while at home with his husband in Oklahoma.
Her devastated family estimate they need to raise £10,000 to cover the costs of bringing Joseph’s body home to the UK as the former fashion retailer had no prior insurance.
“That is the only thing that has been keeping my mum going for the last few days,” explained 28-year-old Kristina.
“There is very little we can do, we are so far away.”
She added: “He has no family out there. We just need him home.”
Kristina says “sociable” Joseph had already planned to return home to east London in September following his move to America last year.
“My brother was struggling and had no friends, he wanted to come home,” said Kristina.
Preparations were already underway when Joseph’s 61-year-old mum Janice Girling received a text late on May 27 informing her of her son’s unexpected death.
Kristina said: “Joseph had a first seizure while watching TV but said ‘I’m fine, everything is fine’ as he didn’t realise what had happened.”
She added: “A couple of hours later he had another seizure and was dead before any medical help arrived.”
The family have raised nearly £6,000 since launching a fundraising page and are liaising with a company to repatriate Joseph’s body to the UK.
Kristina said she was grateful for the support that her mum and her siblings, Tony, 43 and Terri-Anne, 37, have received so far but hopes to reach the total with the public’s help.
Joseph, who was said to have an IQ of between 140 and 150, was described by his sister as a keen traveller who “loved adventure”.
“He was the life and soul of the party – the chatty one who made friends easily,” she said.
“He was there to support his friends, he was just what a friend and family member should be.”
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