NORWICH – A mental health nurse has launched a campaign to return the body of her cousin to her homeland for burial.
Tina Trueman was 51 when she died on December 22, just over two weeks after the death of her husband Norman.
A Zimbabwean, Mrs Trueman moved to the United Kingdom after becoming pen pals with her future husband, whom she married in 2000.
Now her cousin, Everjoy Maxwell, a mental health nurse from Norwich, has launched a fundraising campaign so Mrs Trueman can be repatriated to her homeland and be laid to rest amongst her family.
She said: “The cheapest option would be to cremate her and I take over her ashes next time I visit, but for her family in Zimbabwe they need the closure of being able to see her body and lay her to rest.
“It is so sad. Her husband died on December 6, he was 99, and she just did not take his death well – he was the love of her heart. She had a heart attack just before Christmas, but we did not know until after she died that she also had Covid-19.”
Mrs Maxwell has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise the £5,000 needed to transport her body back to Zimbabwe, which has already raised more than £1,000.
With Mr and Mrs Trueman having no children together, the alternative would be for her to have a pauper’s funeral at the expense of Devon County Council, where the couple lived.
Mrs Maxwell added: “Tina was the breadwinner for her family. She suffered a spinal tumour around 1989 and was paraplegic until the time of her death, but she would make money buying and selling online – which she would send back to her family in monthly payments.
“She is the oldest of six siblings and lost both of her parents, so it would mean so much to her family for her to be able to lay her to rest in her home country.
“To lose both her and her husband in such a short space of time is such a blow to her whole family.”