HIV/AIDS Counsellor’s death…
The relatives of the late Seeraj Persaud, who was found dead on Monday in his Parika Health Centre office, are hoping and praying that a post mortem examination today will reveal the cause of his death.
Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, one of the man’s older brothers, Yogoul Kumar Persaud also known as Boyo, said that the family still cannot come to terms with the 42-year-old’s sudden demise. After receiving word of his sibling’s death Monday afternoon, Boyo said that he along with other relatives raced down to the Health Centre where he saw his brother lying on the floor of his office. He claims that he saw some marks which appeared to be scratches around his brother’s neck. Police officers who were also on the scene had noticed the barely visible marks, Boyo claimed.
“I don’t know what happen. As far as I know he didn’t have a problem with anybody and for him to die at work…This is a surprise for the whole family.”
Seeraj Persaud was the youngest of five siblings – four boys and one girl – and according to Boyo “I don’t know how our sister will take it. She is coming in from Canada and I really don’t know if she can handle this.”
The family, Boyo said, has not sought to make contact with the dead man’s wife who lives in Russia as they have not been in contact with her for several years. Seeraj Persaud had wed his Russian sweetheart in 2002. However, he returned to Guyana a few years ago, leaving her behind.
Boyo noted that his brother was dedicated to his work and as far as he knows had a good working relationship with all of his colleagues.
As such, he is optimistic that the post mortem set for today at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation will help to reveal the manner of his demise, and by extension lead to the killer, thus bringing some level of closure to his bereaved family.
Seeraj Persaud, of Lot 8 Hydronie, East Bank Essequibo, was attached to the Parika Health Centre as a HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counsellor at the time of his death. According to Senior Health Visitor, Linda Johnson, she first learnt of her colleague’s death after she was alerted by two clients awaiting his attention. The woman revealed that she was undertaking her regular duties when one of the two clients raised an alarm after peering into Persaud’s office. “I heard nothing even though his office is right next to mine. There was no sound to indicate that something was wrong. They (clients) just got tired of waiting so they decided to check what was keeping Persaud.”
Upon investigation, Johnson said that she discovered Persaud lying on the floor of his small office. He appeared lifeless, she recounted. He was pronounced dead by a doctor shortly after.
The police were also summoned after the discovery and an investigation was immediately engaged. Johnson disclosed that while Persaud’s office was not in disarray his keys, wallet, cellular phone and laptop were missing. Relatives also confirmed that several of the man’s belongings were missing, adding that he “did everything with his laptop. He never left home without it.”
Among the keys missing were those for the two-flat house in which Persaud lived.
Johnson described Persaud as a very pleasant individual and claimed that she knew of no one who had a problem with him.
When this newspaper arrived at the Health Centre on Monday, regional officials including Medical Superintendent of the West Demerara Regional Hospital, Dr Ravi Persaud, were already there, expressing shock and dismay at the unfortunate situation.
According to Dr Ravi Persaud, based on the report of the doctor there were no external marks of violence on Seeraj Persaud’s body suggesting how he died. Thus his cause of death may only be determined by a post mortem.
Persaud had resided with his mother up to about one year ago when she died.
In fact, according to the man’s relatives they were already preparing to observe the death anniversary on Sunday. They related that Persaud was a loving and caring person who kept to himself most of the time. He had no enemies they insisted. His life, they said, was characteristic of going to work and returning home since he returned from Russia about two years ago and started offering his service as a volunteer with the National AIDS Programme Secretariat.
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