(CNN) — The father of a Kenyan woman who drowned in a Canadian swimming pool while live streaming on Facebook has spoken out about the loss to his family.
Helen Wendy Nyabuto can be seen on video struggling to stay afloat after plunging into the deep end of the pool last week.
The 23-year-old health worker, who lived in Toronto, responded to comments from onlookers before resuming her swim.
His body was found at the bottom of the pond several hours later. According to his brother, he drowned in Collingwood, Ontario, the town where he worked.
Her father, Nyabuto John Kyondi, 56, told CNN from his home in Kenya: “I saw the video. I cried. It was horrible.”
“She contacted me two days before she passed away. It was good and I was very happy. She promised me a phone. I didn’t feel anything unusual,” he said.
Nyabuto lived in a Toronto apartment with her younger brother Enoch and worked part-time as a health care worker while studying nursing, her family said.
“She has been in Canada for about three years,” said Enoch, one of her five brothers. “All financial responsibilities (for her family in Kenya) fell on her,” he added.
Back to the beginning
Wendy’s father, a smallholder farmer from Kizi in southwestern Kenya, said now that his daughter had disappeared, he was “back to square one”.
“She helped financially to educate her siblings, especially school fees and other expenses. Now I’m stuck, I’m back to square one. I wonder how her little brothers are going to study,” Giondi told CNN.
Now all she wants is for her daughter’s body to be returned to Kenya.
“According to our tradition, one should be buried at the place of birth. I will not be psychologically comfortable if my daughter is buried far away from Kenya,” she said.
Returning Wendy’s body would take a toll on his family’s meager resources, and Enoch says they’ve begun. GoFundMe campaign 50,000 Canadian dollars (about US$38,000) must be raised to help with his funeral expenses.
“The family is going through a difficult time now. All we want is to take his body home for burial,” he said.