After months of being stuck in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), T&T national Takiesha Clairmont has got an exemption to return home but needs help to do so.
“I get Stuart Young’s number via WhatsApp… and I messaged him on various occasions I showed him proof, I reached out to him in pain,” she said.
“Just last week Tuesday, I outreached to him crying in a voice note,” she continued.
The mother of eight said Young responded that evening and said he would approve her exemption. She then received the confirmation email three days later.
But as she opened her inbox to read what was supposed to be one of the best letters of her life, she realised that her fight to get back home to her family was not over.
“My kids is (sic) scared, I not around them to hug them and kiss them,” she said.
The email read that Clairmont would have to charter her own flight to return to T&T and pay to be quarantined under state supervision.
“The cheapest hotel which is Cascadia costing over TT$15,000 for 14 days quarantine,” she said.
The three hotels identified in the email are the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre, the Chancellor Hotel or the Regent Star Hotel. She has not gotten a quote for the chartered flight from the BVI to T&T but estimates it to be upwards of TT$2,000.
But money for the hotel and the fight is not the only money Clairmont needs to source. While abroad she had a miscarriage and now has medical fees to pay.
She joined a WhatsApp group called TT citizens overseas that has over 150 participants all affiliated with nationals stuck outside of this country.
The members have started a Go Fund Me page for her to help her get back home.
“Eight months I just out here, I cah (sic) work…over here real strict,” she said.
“Imagine you living a normal life all the time and you living now on handouts,” she cried.
The goal for the fund is US$3,000 but according to one of the creators, Sheena Millet, that was before they knew they had to pay for the chartered flight, which she estimates would be approximately US$2,000.
So far US$1,590 has been donated.
“All of the money goes directly towards the payment of the hotel and the payment of the charter,” she said.
“Any help that we could help even if it’s five dollars it goes a long way,” she continued.
Millet told Guardian Media that while everyone in the group would like to get home Clairmont’s story was heart-wrenching for its members and that is why they started the fund.
“If it can’t be us then it can be Takeisha,” she said.
Clairmont is also diabetic and has run out of medication.