For almost two months the body of a man remained unclaimed at the San Fernando mortuary.
The relatives of Jabriel Khan never knew he had died.
A notice posted in the Express on Tuesday stated that arrangements for burial would be made by the San Fernando General Hospital.
The South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) appealed to Khan's relatives to claim his body within seven days.
Khan was never married and had no children.
A sibling who read the notice immediately went to the San Fernando General Hospital and claimed Khan's body.
He was buried following a simple funeral at his Iere Village, Princes Town home.
The notice stated that Khan was admitted to male ward 10D on November 24, 2017. He died on medical extension ward 3 on December 28.
“The SWRHA would like any known relative or next of kin of the above mentioned to kindly contact the San Fernando General Hospital urgently,” it stated.
It further stated that arrangements for burial would be made by the hospital.
SWRHA chief executive officer, Gail Miller-Meade, said she did not have details on Khan's death.
But she noted that no relative has come forward to claim his body following his death last December.
A family friend told the Express that Khan was 58 years old. He was born with a disability which restricted his mobility.
He worked as a watchman at businesses in Princes Town.
But a few years ago, Khan lost his left leg and was confined to a wheelchair.
“The last time I saw him was in December pushing himself around on a wheelchair. He mostly lived by himself. I don't think his relatives knew he died. Someone saw the notice and they went and claimed the body and buried him yesterday,” he said.
Miller-Meade said there was a standard practice that all Regional Health Authorities were required to follow in cases of unclaimed bodies.
She said, “It is a standard process that is someone dies at the hospital and the body remains unclaimed for a while we have to post a notice advising relatives to come forward.”
She said the body is then handed over to a funeral home and buried.
“It does not happen often but once in a while you will find this and we have to issue a notice to the relatives,” she said.