Grandchildren bitter over way world’s oldest woman died

(Jamaica Observer) DUANVALE, Trelawny — At least two grandchildren of Violet Moss Brown, the world’s oldest person who died on Friday at the age of 117 years old, believe that, had she not been taken “against her wishes” from her Duanvale residence to a medical facility six days prior, she would have been still alive today.

“There was nothing much wrong with her. She was a little dehydrated and a doctor who came to see her said all she needed was a little potassium… so there was no good reason why they had to take her to any medical facility last Saturday (September 9),” Lelieth Palmer, one of Moss Brown’s grandchildren told the Jamaica Observer on Saturday.

According to Palmer, Moss Brown, better known in the Duanvale community as “Aunt V”, was removed on the instruction of a family member and under the watchful eyes of the police at 11:00 pm on the Saturday to a medical facility in Montego Bay, despite the fact that she made it clear that she did not want to go.

Violet Moss Brown… died last Friday (Photo: Horace Hines)

“She did not want to go; but later she begged them not to take her unless they were going to take her back home. They didn’t take her back, and so they took her away from her loved ones and family members and that contributed significantly to her death,” Palmer argued.

Vernon Davis, another of Aunt V’s grandchildren, echoed similar sentiments.

“If they didn’t take her from her house she would be still alive today,” Moss Brown’s teary-eyed grandson said yesterday.

“They took her away from her comfort zone; took away her freedom; took away her dignity, and take her to a strange place where she had no family and friends, and didn’t even tell some of us where she was.”

Palmer claimed she and other relatives of Moss Brown were treated in that manner by other family members because “persons” thought that she was making a lot of money from the Violet Moss Foundation, which she (Palmer) formed in recent years.

“I formed a foundation for her and (a family member) thought that I was making a lot of money from it and, also because I was the voice of the family and took the initiative on a number projects (the family member) wanted me to step back,” she argued.

She added that, as part of the scheme to undermine her, a retired nurse who was one of her grandmother’s caregivers was dismissed last month, even though she was volunteering her service.

(The family member) “fired one of her caregivers in August because (the family member) wanted to sideline me and put strangers in charge of her. (The family member) believes I was too close to my grandmother,” said Palmer, a Florida resident who has spent a lot of time with her grandmother in recent years.

Moss Brown reportedly died at Fairfield Medical Centre in Montego Bay at about 2:30 pm last Friday.

In April this year she became the world’s oldest living person following the death of Italian Emma Morano, earning a place in the Guinness Book of Records for her longevity.

Since then, a number of government officials, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie, had visited her in her deep rural community, where she lived all of her life.

Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Opposition Leader Peter Phillips had also visited “Aunt V”.

On September 3, Moss Brown was paid a visit by representatives of the Guinness Book of Records, who presented her with a citation and the 2018 edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Moss Brown reportedly accepted the award with her usual broad smile, as she expressed gratitude.

On Saturday, when the Sunday Observer visited the community, a number of residents expressed shock and regret at the passing of the history-making supercentenarian.

Among them was Moss Brown’s close friend Joy Laesch.

“It’s so unbelievable to know this is how she left us… lonely and sad; none of her loved ones around, even though she kept asking for them… so undeserving,” said Laesch, who said she had known Moss Brown for almost five years, and has been writing stories about her.

Councillor Dunstan Harper (JLP, Sherwood Content Division), in paying tribute to Moss Brown, described her as “a phenomenal woman who could reason with persons and had a wealth of knowledge about persons in the community”.

“Jamaica has lost an angel… she was kind, caring, compassionate, and loving,” said the politician, who had known Moss Brown for more than 50 years.

Others described “Aunt V” as a peacemaker, musician, a person who loved everybody and wanted everybody to love each other.

“She was everything that love defines,” Palmer stressed.

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