(SNO) — The baby daughter of renowned Vieux Fort resident Jeffa Belasse, who died earlier this month after giving birth, is currently at home in the U.S. with her relatives, according to a relative.
Emmanuel Bellas, Jeffa’s first cousin, told St. Lucia News Online that the baby, named Sabbatini, was released from King County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, in the care of her father, Titus Elva, two Fridays ago.
St. Lucia News Online obtained a video of Elva, a retired Saint Lucian star footballer, leaving the hospital with the baby, surrounded by cheerful relatives and friends.
Bellas said the last update he received on the newborn from her father this weekend, was that the baby is “healthy and there is no problem at this point in time”. He said the baby and her father will leave the U.S. after she receives a vaccine.
Jeffa, who reportedly had a high-risk pregnancy, passed away shortly after giving birth to her first child on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018.
A GoFundMe account was set up to raise funds to offset the expenses in bringing Jeffa’s body home as well as assist in raising her child. To date, the account has received $3,095 of its $5,000 target.
Bellas, who is president of the Vieux Fort South Football Association, told St. Lucia News Online that Jeffa’s body, which is still in the U.S., was scheduled to arrive in Saint Lucia this weekend but the airport in Miami is still closed due to the passage of Hurricane Michael.
Relatives are hoping the body will arrive in time for a planned candlelight vigil and the funeral service.
The vigil is slated for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church in Vieux Fort, and the funeral service on Friday, Oct. 26, at the same church.
At the time of her passing, Jeffa, a resident of Calvary Hill, Vieux Fort, worked in the accounts department of St. Jude Hospital.
She was also secretary of the Vieux-Fort South Veterans Football Club, vice president of the Vieux-Fort South Football League, and manager of the Vieux-Fort South Under 15 Female Football Team.
Exactly one week ago, Vieux-Fort South, made history by becoming the first team to win the Blackheart football title three years in a row after beating Laborie 4-1 at the Philip Marcellin Grounds in Vieux Fort.
The league and the Vieux-Fort South team dedicated the victory to her.