By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE Bimini woman who died in New Providence Monday night and is suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms (see story HERE) is the sister of a Cabinet minister.
Kim Johnson-Rolle, 57, is the sister of Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson.
According to a relative, Mrs Johnson-Rolle, who traveled to Florida two weeks ago, complained of having chest pains early this week and went to the Bimini clinic.
She died Monday while being airlifted to New Providence after experiencing a sudden medical issue.
The family was informed that Mrs Johnson-Rolle was having issues with oxygen intake and would need to be airlifted to Nassau for further medical treatment.
A plane was secured on Monday for the patient, who was accompanied by a medical team. However, she died while en route to New Providence, family said.
“We were told that her heart stopped and they tried to revive her,” said Mrs Johnson-Rolle’s brother-in-law, businessman Lloyd Edgecombe, who said her death is "a blow to the entire family.”
Mrs Johnson-Rolle owned a restaurant/deli and was very well-known in the Bimini community.
Mr Edgecombe said the death of his wife’s sister is very difficult for them to come to terms with as she was a "healthy" individual who loved to work.
Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands said Tuesday that health officials are awaiting test results to determine whether the woman had COVID-19.
However, in the absence of the results, Mrs Johnson-Rolle’s brother-in-law believes she had a heart attack.
“She was a regular person who experienced a heart attack on the way to Nassau. No test was run on her; she never made it to Nassau, she died on the plane,” said Mr Edgecombe.
When asked whether his sister-in-law had travelled recently, he said that she went to Miami on March 18 with her grandchildren for a medical check-up.
According to Mr Edgecombe, his sister-in-law was a “healthy” person and relatives are shocked over her sudden passing.
“She was strong and healthy, and loved to get up early every day to go to work,” he said.
“My wife and her sister were close and would talk all the time and travel together, so this is very difficult for us,” he said.
Mrs Johnson-Rolle also leaves behind a disabled husband, who is paralyzed, and depended on her. Her COVID-19 test results could come back as early as today.
For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Tribune.