A fundraiser has been launched to help get a Lincoln man back to his home country of South Africa so he can “be with his father and siblings to allow him to grieve the loss of his mother.”
Anthony Cannon was born in Limpopo, South Africa and the 33-year-old has lived in Lincoln for over four years, where he now works as a customer assistant.
Anthony’s world was turned upside down on August 18 this year when he received a phone call informing him that his 63-year-old mother Katrien Badenhorst had sadly passed away.
Katrien had been battling a lung infection and was rushed to hospital by ambulance earlier the same week as she needed oxygen immediately.
Throughout the day and night her condition unfortunately declined and she was placed on a ventilator as she could no longer breathe on her own, before she sadly died days later.
On top of the tragic loss of his mum, Anthony’s stepfather Piet has also been in hospital for the last two weeks and has had to have his leg amputated.
Anthony’s sister-in-law Candice De Melo has set up a GoFundMe page to try and help get Anthony home to South Africa for his mum’s funeral in early September – make a donation here.
Candice said: “Anthony has not seen his family in almost ten years; we would love to be able to get him home to South Africa to be with his father and siblings to allow him to grieve the loss of his mother.
“Finances are currently very tight for Anthony and his wife, as they are currently in the process of applying for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom, where they reside with their minor daughter.
“We hope to raise enough funds for air tickets/plane tickets and to help ease some of the daily expenses the family will incur with the loss of work during this time.
“If you can donate anything, big or small, we will forever appreciate it. Your donations will allow my brother-in-law to grieve with his family without the extra financial stress.”
Anthony describes his mum as a “sweet, gentle woman” who “welcomed everyone into both her home and family with open arms.”
In tribute to his mum, Anthony said: “Katrien was well known as the neighborhood mother. She would never hear of a person being hungry without making them something to eat.
“This was simply the person that she was, she was known for her love of cooking and baking.
“Katrien always had kind and loving words to share when ever I was sad. She helped my wife through the hardest year of her life after she lost her mother last year. Whatever you or anyone needed, she was always there.
“She was so generous with her love and time, always putting her family first above all else. She had a hard life but she was never bitter and always tried her best to give her children the best she could.
“She was a hard worker since the age of 16 after having to drop out of high school to work to put her youngest brother through school.
“Even though she was with us for 63 years of her life and I knew her for 34 years of mine, that time will never be enough.
“I will miss the sound of her voice and her laughter the most. It breaks my heart that circumstances separated us for over 10 years. Even though it broke her heart not to see me for all that time she understood and wanted a better life for me.
“I will be forever grateful to God for blessing me with the best gift of calling you my mother. While she may not be with us physically today, her gentle spirit will remain in our hearts forever.”
The family are currently awaiting confirmation to see if Anthony is allowed to fly out as Candice said he is under immigration rules and regulations pertaining to his current visa stage.
She told The Lincolnite: “We have never had to do something like this (the fundraiser) before so it is completely out of our comfort zone.
“If the fundraiser fetches more (than the £2,000 target) then that would be amazing, as this will help assist with financial struggles the family might incur during this time, as well as unpaid leave from work.
“The amount would cover return plane tickets from UK to South Africa, and then costs involved getting to and from airports, and any additional expenses that might occur during the trip back home.”