Family sceptical as autopsy reveals covid, not fall, killed Tobago woman

COVID DEATH: An autopsy on Tuesday revealed mother of one Umilta Fleck died of covid19. -
COVID DEATH: An autopsy on Tuesday revealed mother of one Umilta Fleck died of covid19. -

The family of Umilta Fleck, also known as Elizabeth Fletcher, who reportedly fell to her death off a ladder last Sunday while working in Speyside, is demanding answers from Tobago health authorities after an autopsy on her body on Tuesday reportedly revealed she died from covid19.

“This has come as a total surprise to us,” Fletcher’s sister Pat told Newsday.

“What we don’t understand is how come the test for corona was performed on a dead person? It just does not make sense.”

In fact covid19 tests are routinely done before autopsies.

Pat said Fletcher’s autopsy revealed she died from pneumonia and covid19. It was done at the mortuary of the Scarborough General Hospital, some nine days after she was found on the ground near a ladder at a home in Lucy Vale where she had been hired for a job.

Fletcher, 49, was a labourer and mother of one.

Saying the autopsy had left more questions than answers, Pat said family members were not asked to witness the procedure.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions in my head where this is concerned, because I can’t understand. Let us just say what they were saying from before, that she fall from a ladder or she drop down. How all of a sudden it just become corona?”

Pat said Fletcher, who had complained about feeling unwell several days before her death, was unvaccinated.

Ain Fletcher, right, father of Umilita Fleck, his wife Merle Fletcher, left, and daughter Pat Fletcher at their home in Goodwood last Monday. Photo by David Reid

Pat previously told Newsday her sister was taking medication for a thyroid problem.

She said in the days before her death, Fletcher was around many people in several different households “and none of these people, nobody have corona.”

Pat said: “If you know this person has corona, you have to get that result before you perform the autopsy. So, what was the reason for the autopsy in the first place if you already knew that the person had corona. And why yuh keep her so long? Today (Tuesday) is nine days already since she dead.”

She believes the health authorities had the covid19 test result long before the autopsy was conducted.

She said her family members do not intend to get tested.

She believes the autopsy was not properly done, “because if you are a forensic pathologist you would go into more details. You will have a family members there and explain how everything went down.”

Pat also claimed her sister’s head was swollen.

“What caused her head to be in that state? It can’t be corona.”

Asked whether the autopsy showed any broken bones, Pat said no.

She accused the health authorities of not being honest about covid19 deaths on the island.

“I have been hearing it all the time from other people who have family members that died...

“That is just their way and means of getting people to take the vaccine.”

Pat also wants the Government to retain a forensic pathologist specifically for Tobago.

“Is time Tobago to get their own pathologist instead of having people leaving Trinidad and doing nonsense and telling people what they want to tell them. That is not good enough. They just putting what they want to put on people’s death certificate, and you can’t just put what you want to put.”

Pat, who now has two other siblings, said her sister’s funeral service takes place on Friday at the Goodwood Pentecostal Church from 1pm. Fletcher will be buried at the Goodwood Public Cemetery.

Fletcher, of Studley Park, was hired to remove foliage from a 20-foot embankment at the back of a house in Lucy Vale, on September 5. But around 10.30 am, an occupant of the house found her lying on the ground unresponsive.

DMO Steve Ogbu later pronounced her dead and ordered her body removed to the mortuary.

Newsday contacted Secretary of Health Tracy Davidson-Celestine for a comment on the claims by the relative, but she declined, as she said she was not aware of the details of the autopsy.


"Family sceptical as autopsy reveals covid, not fall, killed Tobago woman"

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