(Jamaica Observer) FALMOUTH, Trelawny — The body of late supercentenarian Violet Moss Brown has been donated to The University of the West Indies (UWI) for scientific research.
The donation was made by the family at the request of the 117-year-old Jamaican from Duanvale, Trelawny, who held the record as the oldest living person when she passed on September 15.
“It will be in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, and so medical students will be able to basically look at her body, do experiments, see for instance why was a 117-year-old woman so clear in her mind,” explained Beverly Davis Fray, the supercentenarian’s granddaughter.
“I am sure that they will find information that will benefit not only Jamaica, but the entire world. This was a very rare occurrence and it was not something that happened by chance,” Davis Fray said.
“We discussed it with family members and they agreed. They basically said they believed this is a lasting contribution to science and to the world, and the contact person at the university was just overjoyed. I want to make it clear, they (UWI) did not come to us, we went to them.”
Moss Brown’s son, Sylvera Barrington Russell, said that turning over his mother’s body to the university was in fulfilment of her request.
“This was one of her wishes. We sat and we talked and one of her wishes was she don’t want to see something go down into the ground which will not have no use to anybody. Her soul is gone to heaven, that’s what she said, and if we can find some cure from what is left of it, that is what she would like. So she was up to it 100 per cent,” Russell stated.
Both Fray and Russell were among other family members who congregated at Glistening Waters Restaurant Thursday evening for a press conference to reveal arrangements for the memorial service.
The body will be turned over to the university on Monday, October 8, a day after a thanksgiving service at Trittonville Baptist Church in Moss Brown’s community.
Meanwhile, the family said they are still awaiting word from the governor general, the prime minister and the opposition leader about whether they will attend the funeral service.
“We have not had a response to say yes, she is going to get an official funeral or anything like that. But we are going along with our preparations until we hear from them. I think we should hear something soon,” Davis Fray said.
The body will be available for viewing from 9:30 am to 11:00 am and the service will follow immediately after.
In April this year Moss Brown, who was affectionately known as “Aunt V”, 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.
On September 3, Moss Brown was visited by representatives of the Guin-ness Book of Records, who presented her with a citation and the 2018 edition of the book.