GoFundMe page launched after Battlefords man dies following COVID-19

A GoFundMe page has raised $92,570 for the family of a Battlefords man who died following a battle with COVID-19.

According to the GoFundMe page, Tom Thomas, 34, passed away this week in hospital due to a sudden cardiac arrest after a fight with COVID-19.

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Thomas was from Ponkunnam, Kerala, India and had been a nurse in his home country, and relocated to North Battleford in 2016. His wife, Merin George, works in a long term home care in the community and they have an 18 month old child.

“As Healthcare workers, (he) and his wife dedicated their lives for caring for others but when it came to be taken care of, the system fell short,” the GoFundMe page states.

“Life has been hard as it is with this pandemic, but such a tragic loss has left his family and friends (as) extremely helpless and devastated. He was the only person working in the family because (his) wife is still on maternity leave to take care of the child.”

The GoFundMe campaign has been launched by St. Mother Theresa Syro Malabar Church North Battleford and Battleford Malayalee Association, the goal is to fundraise for his funeral expenses and family support.  So far there have been 1,300 donations made to bring the total to $92,570 as of Thursday morning.

On Wednesday organizers posted this further update at their GoFundMe page.

“Tom's family appreciates your support and prayers in this tough time. Thank you each and everyone who supported us. Since it was a sudden cardiac arrest he was taken to Saskatoon from the funeral home for further investigations,forensic and autopsy which they said could take up to 2 to 3 days. Meanwhile his wife Merin George and the child is being looked after by his cousin and friends. They are doing OK still trying to cope up. Unfortunately we cannot take him to India because of the pandemic situation. Once we confirm the next step we will update everyone. Thanks everyone again and keep us in your prayers.”

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