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Burn Victim dies after traveling abroad for medical treatment

30th June 2016

After being flown out of the country for medical care in Cuba yesterday morning (Wed), recent burn victim, Marlon Knowles of Powell's Estate passed away at a hospital in Cuba.

It is alleged that Knowles was set alight over the weekend following a domestic dispute and it was reported that the twenty year old suffered burns to more than eighty percent of his body.

On Wednesday, it was a scene of high emotions as Knowles was flown out of the country to receive care and treatment with the help of the Government.

Moments after the REVA Flight departed from Runway Ten at the V C Bird International Airport, Minister of Health and the Environment, Molwyn Joseph said that the Gaston Brown Administration will spare no effort to fulfill the needs of all Antiguans and Barbudans, irrespective of their persuasion and status.

"We in this Government have gone beyond words, we have demonstrated how we feel about the citizens of this country and the fact is that we don't care where you fall, we don't care who you are and about your status in society, everybody will get the attention and care that they deserve from this Government", Joseph said.

The Government Official reiterated his call for a national insurance policy which he believes is needed in order to respond to crisis such as the one being faced by the family of Marlon Knowles.

"In Antigua and Barbuda, if we are going to respond in this manner to all citizens of this country, we have got to put in place a national health insurance system, especially when this kind of treatment is required. For instance when we investigated sending him over to the Unites States, the first institution that we contacted and discussed this matter with said that it would have cost over two million dollars so this is a tremendous strain on the Government but it is a sacrifice that we have to make but we will sacrifice everything to save a life", Joseph added.

Mother of the victim, Sharon Kirby had expressed her family's gratitude to the Government, the medical officials and the religious community who showed great support during the time of need.

"I would like to thank the Government and Mr. Molwyn Joseph for assisting my son to go to Cuba; special thanks to Chief Medical Officer, Mrs. Sealey Thomas, not forgetting Mr. Cutie Benjamin and my church members at the SLM.

An account to help the family is set up at the Royal Bank of Canada and individuals interested in making a donation is being asked to do so at account number, 7096282.

Arrangements are being made to have the body flown back to Antigua as early as next week.

For More Information Contact:
Debbie Francis
Communication Officer
Tel: (268) 464-8026