Former parliamentarian Kelvin Ramnath died of a heart attack, according to the autopsy, his wife Debbie Ramnath said yesterday.
Ramnath, 63, chairman of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) died on Saturday at the Augustus Long Hospital, Pointe-a-Pierre.
In a telephone interview with the Express, Ramnath's wife said an autopsy was done at the San Fernando General Hospital which confirmed that the cause of death was heart failure.
Ramnath had open heart surgery in 2007. On Saturday he had a temperature and was shivering.
Debbie Ramnath said her husband devoted his life to helping others and he will always be remembered as a man who sacrificed his own time and family to help others.
She recalled her last moments with him, "He didn't look ill at all, actually on Friday he went out with some friends and on Saturday he had a temperature. He was looking good, it was the same Kello everyone knows but when we were at the hospital I just saw his eyes roll back, he died so quickly, he slipped away".
Ramnath, she said, always spent most of his time away from home working and had made up his mind to spend quality time with his family.
"I will remember him as a man who was always fighting for the rights of people who can't represent themselves. Up to the day he died he was concerned about the issue with the EMA and I told him to let's go to the hospital and put himself first,"she said.
"He always represented the people, he was never at home, if you have a problem and you call Kelvin, you will have your problem resolved or leave feeling energised and on top of the world,"she said.
Mrs Ramnath thanked all those who have been lending support to the family including former prime minister Basdeo Panday and Government Ministers Roodal Moonilal, Rudranath Indarsingh, Chandresh Sharma, Fazal Karim, Ganga Singh, Tim Gopeesingh and Nizam Mohammed.
In a release yesterday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar stated she was deeply saddened over Ramnath's death. She described him as a man who was "unafraid of standing for what he believed in and for what he represented".
"Mr Ramnath was an extremely lively and forthright political figure, with significant history dating back to 1976 when he first entered the House of Representatives, and even further as an advocate for equality and social justice for workers,"stated Persad-Bissessar.
She noted Ramnath had a long standing career, having served as Energy Minister following the 1986 election and also in the Opposition between 2001 and 2010.
Ramnath, she said, as EMA chairman from 2011, brought his knowledge and experience to bear on executing his duties in an admirable manner. "The memory of Mr Ramnath will no doubt be one of a flamboyant character and an extremely skilled debater. His quick and sharp wit and his knowledge of national issues made him a very strong representative of people and issues,"stated Persad-Bissessar.
"His booming voice, his experience, his strength of character and indeed, his indefatigable advocacy will always be fondly remembered. As one of the political greats whose career spanned over many moments of social and political change in our nation, he will never be forgotten,"she added.
Congress of the People (COP) political leader Prakash Ramadhar also expressed condolences on Ramnath's passing.
"In and out of Parliament, Ramnath was a skillful orator, reminiscent of the likes of Dr Eric Williams, Dr Rudranath Capildeo, Simbhoonath Capildeo, Lionel F Seukeran, Balgobin Ramdeen and Tajmool Hosein, the latter two being he only ones alive from the first Parliament of 1961-1966. He was also a hostage in the Red House in the July 1990 attempted coup,"stated Ramadhar.
Moonilal, also in a release to the press stated that Ramnath was a man who was committed to the people.
"I have lost a dear friend of several decades and the country is now without what was still a potent and relevant political voice, recognised and respected on all sides of the political divide," stated Moonilal.
Ramnath, he said, discussed several initiatives with him as Minister as to how the EMA could be vitalised into becoming an even more vibrant and relevant institution as it fulfilled a critical national mandate in the protection and preservation of the environment.
"His commitment to the development of Trinidad and Tobago and his passion to the upliftment of people throughout the country was manifest throughout his career as a member of Parliament and as a Minister of Government.
He brought this enthusiasm to his leadership of the EMA,"said Moonilal.
"His service and commitment to his constituents and to the national community as a whole, his passionate championing of the rights and entitlements of people everywhere, voiced through articulate and incisive presentations in Parliament and political platforms served as an inspiration to us young politicians."Moonilal added.