"She's prepped me for everything in life but this," the grieving daughter said.
In a rather tragic development, the news of Latrice Clayton, a beloved Missouri mother of five who died from malaria after traveling to West Africa to see a friend in Abidjan came to light when her daughter Crystal Clayton shared the story with PEOPLE. The 46-year-old had been on a trip she had been "wanting to do all her life." She, unfortunately, lost her life, according to a GoFundMe page. The mum started feeling ill after spending roughly a day in the Ivory Coast, and her daughter claims she was eventually diagnosed with malaria. She reportedly died of a stroke and malaria.
On April 27, she passed away quite tragically after which Crystal, daughter of Latrice became aware that something was awry. She told PEOPLE that her mother had called to let her know she was feeling ill but hoped to recover by getting some rest. However, Crystal claims that her mother felt even worse after sleeping. She then proceeded to a clinic, where she was given a malaria diagnosis and hospitalized for treatment. Latrice's blood pressure increased as a result of malaria, making it difficult for her to make it home.
Mom on Trip of a Lifetime Dies After Contracting Malaria and Having Stroke: 'My Best Friend,' Says Daughter https://t.co/etoBlmtnsf— People (@people) May 8, 2023
On April 24, Crystal claims she attempted to transport her mother home on a commercial airplane, but her mother was unable to fly because of her health. "We're taking it hard. I feel like my mom is still on vacation and she just isn't back home yet," she told the outlet believing that the reality of the situation hasn't fully set in. Latrice no longer had malaria at that point, but her blood pressure was still quite high. She then traveled to a different facility, where she had examinations and got care. Latrice eventually experienced a stroke.
Hey guys my older sister passed recently and we’re trying to raise money to bring her body home. Anything helps. https://t.co/AzsYYUMzk3— Tiaramisu (@NooKizzi) April 28, 2023
She suffered a brain bleed, according to physicians. It would have been better to send her home as soon as possible so she could get the right care, Crystal further stated. However, the cost of an air ambulance would have been over $200,000. Crystal, who was eager to bring her mother home, found the knowledge disturbing. "That's my best friend. She's prepped me for everything in life but this. And she shows up for all of us, like, that's who we depend on." Before she passed away, Latrice spent two days in a coma.
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According to Crystal, she is survived by her four adult children, a daughter who is 7 years old, and eight grandchildren. Crystal claims that her mother reassured her that she would be OK on the trip since she had already taken anti-malarial medication and obtained all of the required vaccinations. She also registered with the American Embassy and the embassy could have done more, she said pointing out that they "would not budge on the price" to bring Latrice home and that she was unable to get in touch with any of the staff at a time that was convenient for them at that point.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe