Woman drops dead
By CECILY ASSON Saturday, June 16 2012
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DEAD: Spiritual Shouter Baptist devotee Theresa Lewis...
SHORTLY after she participated in the Spiritual Shouter Baptist ritual known as “mourning ground”, devotee Theresa Lewis, 69, collapsed and died before she could receive treatment at the Princes Town Health Centre on Thursday.
Lewis left her Parry Lands, Guapo home on Sunday last and since then was at the St Francis Spiritual Temple in Manahambre Road, Princes Town. Police sources told Newsday according to the report they received, Lewis had just participated in the “mourning ritual” when at about 6.45 am, she collapsed in the presence of five church members including leader Algernon Proverbs.
She was rushed to the Health Centre but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Church leader Proverbs explained in the “mourning ritual” which can last three to seven days, a devotee lies on the bare ground and does not move, speak, eat, drink or bathe. Church members gathered for the ceremony prays for the devotee for days on end, during which time, the devotee receives spiritual instructions via visions.
Lewis’ son Carlos, 36, said he is in a state of shock over his mother’s death adding that apart from high blood pressure and issues with her cholesterol, Lewis was healthy. “She was mourning and what I heard is that she woke up yesterday morning and had breakfast and took a bath. She then collapsed and was taken to the health centre.
“I am still in shock because she wasn’t sick. The most she had was blood pressure and the last time I talked to her, she told me she was managing her cholesterol. I don’t know if the mourning was too much for her. We await the post mortem result,” Lewis said.
Proverbs denied that any ritual was taking place when Lewis collapsed. He described her as a devout follower of the faith who had been a member of his congregation for more than two decades. “She was supposed to go home yesterday (Thursday) but didn’t because of the rain.
“When the car came for her and she got up to walk, she said her head was feeling giddy. We realised she was not coming around and called the ambulance. She died,” Proverbs said. Police said they are awaiting the results of an autopsy today at the San Fernando mortuary to determine the next course in their investigations.