low-income, postpartum, Medicaid

Chicago Family Seeking Public Support To Bring Body Of Loved One Back Home For Burial After Sudden Overseas Death

A Chicago family is seeking public support to help bring the remains of their loved one back to the States after her sudden overseas death.

The family of 26-year-old Justice Gatlin is seeking public support to bring her body back home to Chicago following her sudden death in Taipei, Taiwan. The mother of two was traveling with friends to Bali when she died unexpectedly before arrival, Fox 32 Chicago reports. Gatlin’s family needs $37,000 to facilitate the return of her remains to the States.

“Now her body is being held in Taipei, Taiwan, and we’re trying to raise the money to bring our little girl home,” said Gatlin’s father, Donald Eugene Thompson Jr. “There’s going to be a cost as we have to get her body prepared to bring her home. Then there will be a price to bring her back to the airport.” The family has reportedly been in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Taiwan and has managed to raise $12,000 independently in Gatlin’s honor.

According to the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs, for the remains of a U.S. citizen to be returned to their family, the following documents must be in place: consular mortuary certificate, affidavit of a local funeral director, and a transit permit.

Gatlin’s family has started a GoFundMe to help procure the rest of the funds in hopes that they can truly begin their grieving process. “I want to see my daughter. I want to see my baby. I need this for myself to see my child. I’m trying to just bring her home so I can give her the proper burial that she deserves,” said Gatlin’s mother, Kendra Harris. “If it wasn’t a bang, if it wasn’t another country, with different regulations. It wouldn’t be my daughter. My daughter was sunshine. She was the sweetest person in the world. She is very intelligent.”

It is unclear what Gatlin’s exact cause of death was; however, her family assumes that she suffered a fatal seizure during her travels, Fox 32 Chicago reports.