(Trinidad Express) Cancer patient Susan Mahase wanted to return to her homeland to be with her three children and grand children.
She never made it.
Mahase, 56, collapsed and died as she boarded the aircraft at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York, USA.
She had lived in the United States for seven years and wanted to spend Mother’s Day with her children, relatives said.
Mahase’s children learned of her death on arrival at the Piarco International Airport.
The Caribbean Airlines flight was expected to arrive shortly before midday.
Jamie Thomas, her daughter, said her family was not aware of the details surrounding her mother’s death.
“My sister went to the airport to pick up my mother and that was where she was told that she died. I was at home preparing and cleaning the house for my mother’s arrival. We knew she was sick, but we didn’t know she would die before reaching home to us. She was sick for a long time. I didn’t know the extent of her illness because I am pregnant and she didn’t want to alarm me,” she said
Mahase was being treated for cancer for several years, Thomas said.
Before migrating to the United States, Mahase lived at Enterprise Street, Longdenville, Chaguanas.
Thomas said her mother had been excited to return home.
“I spoke with her yesterday and she was so excited to come back home. She kept telling me she would see me tomorrow,” she said.
Jason Thomas said his mother was not herself in recent weeks.
“I spoke to her last week and I knew something was wrong. She was sounding feeble and weak. I was just praying that she could make it back home,” he said.
A Caribbean Airlines spokesperson confirmed the woman’s death.
“Policy is that the plane could not leave (New York) until the body had been examined by the District Medical Officer and he had given clearance for removal. Everything went smoothly and the woman’s family had been contacted and informed of the incident. The flight left New York at approximately 5.50 a.m. and arrived in Trinidad as normal, about midday,” she said