‘Help bring my sick sister home for care’

Wayne Ridley with photo of sister in Dominican Republic
Wayne Ridley with photo of sister in Dominican Republic
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A doting brother is appealing for help with a mercy mission to bring his sick sister home from the Dominican Republic for lifesaving treatment.

Joy McKechnie (54) has suffered three major heart attacks since November last year – the last one doctors abroad feared would be fatal.

But hopes of her returning home to the UK for treatment have been made difficult because, following the break-up of her marriage, she has been left with no money or medical insurance.

Brother Wayne Ridley (49), of Moulton Chapel, said: “After her last attack a doctor at the medical centre that treated her called her children and said if they wanted to say goodbye to their mother they should come now.

“They flew over to see her but have now come back to see if we can raise enough money to bring her home because when the medical centre discovered she had no medical insurance, they refused to treat her anymore.

”We’re going out of our minds with worry – we just want her here so we can look after her.”

Her son, Michael Jackson, and daughter, Teresa Pepper, have set up a Facebook page, Save Joy’s Heart – Her Journey so supporters can see how their appeal is going.

So far they have managed to raise £1,000, but need £4,000 to cover the cost of Teresa fetching her mother home and care on the flight home.

Teresa said: “I had hoped we would have enough by today, so that I could fly out tomorrow and bring Mum home on Sunday, however we are still short.”

Joy has lived in the Dominican Republic for ten years and ran a bar with her husband before the break-up. She is currently staying with a friend.

Wayne said: “Joy is my big sister and we have always been close – there were nine kids in our family so we were drawn together because we are nearly the same age. Our parents have passed away and one of our brothers – this has come too quickly.

“All through Joy’s life she’s been such a big-hearted person doing things for charity and putting others first that now we want to do this for her.”

A Save Joy’s Heart fundraiser is being held at Donington Community Centre on Saturday, March 15, at which Wayne will be DJ with NightFlight Disco. Tickets are available by emailing peppster@hotmail.co.uk

Donations can also be made by sending funds via PayPal to peppster@hotmail.co.uk