Thu | Jun 27, 2019

Fainting spells hit mourners at Skyers’ funeral

Published:Monday | May 20, 2019 | 12:26 AMDanae Hyman/Staff Reporter
Mourners assist a person who fainted at yesterday’s funeral for Shantae Skyers at Meadowvale Seventh-day Adventist Church, Chancery Street, Kingston.
Mourners assist a person who fainted at yesterday’s funeral for Shantae Skyers at Meadowvale Seventh-day Adventist Church, Chancery Street, Kingston.

Emotions ran wild yesterday at the funeral of slain eight-year-old Shantae ‘Birdie’ Skyers as five mourners fainted, while Member of Parliament for St Andrew West Rural Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn broke down as she delivered her tribute and had to be helped off the rostrum.

Skyers’ grandmother, Norma Hylton, passed out upon entering the church and had to be assisted by members of the police force.

Immediately after, there was a message over the microphone requesting a medical officer, as someone suffered an asthma attack.

Hundreds of anguished mourners turned out yesterday at the Meadowvale Seventh-day Adventist Church to pay their last respects to the beloved Skyers.

“Shantae was caring and you could always depend on her for laughs. When I used to sell sweetie, she would always come and say, ‘Trus’ mi one nuh?’ and I would always give in,” one schoolmate said in a tribute.

Her mother, Cristal Service, wailed throughout the service while holding on to her daughter’s coffin despite efforts by ushers to assist her to a seat.

Realising she would not budge, the ushers eventually placed a chair by the coffin, which she hugged and stroked for the duration of the service.

Some family members and friends argued on the outside that despite travelling from afar to attend the funeral, they were not allowed to see the child’s body.

However, the immediate family of Skyers said they opted to keep the casket closed as the child’s body was not fit for viewing.

When Skyers’ body was found on April 16 in Blue Hole, a section of Sterling Castle Heights where she resided, it had already begun to decompose.

danae.hyman@gleanerjm.com