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Hellen Wendy’s parents lay flowers at swimming pool where she drowned

By Hilary Kimuyu September 30th, 2022 3 min read

The parents of Hellen Wendy Nyabuto, a Kenyan nurse and student, who died while swimming in Canada last month, visited the swimming pool where she drowned.

Accompanied by other family members, Hellen’s mother and father laid flowers at the edge of the pool, this week, where their daughter lost her life while swimming.

The parents are in Canada to repatriate her body to Kenya for burial.

The 24-year-old was enjoying an afternoon swim last month when she tragically drowned while she was shooting the session live on Facebook.

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Hellen Wendy
Hellen Wendy

It wasn’t until three hours later that visitors who come to the swimming pool noticed her body and stopped the live stream.

In a conversation seen by the Nairobi News, Wendy shared with a friend about her experiences in Canada.

“I will always be here. Even if I die this year, I don’t know whether you will come and take my body,” she jokingly says in one of the videos.

Wendy’s ambition of going abroad to seek greener pastures started after she completed high school at Itierio Girls in 2017.

She had a strong determination and knew that she had to set the bar high for the rest of her siblings.

The eldest daughter in a family of six inquired from her close friends about the process of moving to overseas countries like the United States and Canada.

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Deceased Hellen Wendy Nyabuto.
Deceased Hellen Wendy Nyabuto. PHOTO: COURTESY

Although she knew she would get an opportunity, there was one thing standing in her way; she did not know anyone in Canada.

One of her closest friends said she kept on inquiring until she got someone who had relatives in Canada and who helped her move there after she secured a green card.

Wendy, who hailed from Mesesi Village home in Bomachoge Chache, Kisii County, relocated to Canada in December 2019 after securing a 10-year study visa via a lottery program.

She lived with her younger brother Enock Nyabuto in an apartment in Toronto and worked part-time as a health worker in Collingwood while studying nursing.

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Her father Nyabuto John Kiyondi, a smallholder farmer, told CNN last month that he cried when he watched the video of his first-born daughter drowning.

“She communicated with me two days before she perished. She sounded very fine and I was very happy. She promised me a phone. I didn’t feel anything abnormal,” he said.

“She was assisting me financially to educate her siblings, particularly in terms of school fees and other expenses. I’m stuck now and back to square one. I’m wondering how her younger siblings will continue schooling.”

“According to our tradition, one is supposed to be buried where he or she was born. I’ll not feel comfortable, psychologically, if my daughter is buried away from Kenya,” he added.

The family of the late nurse had started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise the funds that would return Hellen’s body back to Kenya as well as cater for the burial costs, which they finally achieved.

The family of the 24-year-old was targeting to raise 50,000 Canadian dollars (Sh4.6 million), and more than Sh5 million was raised.

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