Fundraiser set up for Kiara
A teenage girl who died suddenly this week has had an online fundraising page set up in her memory by a cousin who lives overseas.
Kiara Paiva, who was 15, was found unconscious in her Hamilton Parish home on Monday and later pronounced dead by doctors.
Now a Facebook fundraising page, Kiara’s Movement, has been set up by Kenzie Paiva, who said she wanted to do as much as she could after “the tragic news of my beautiful cousin”.
Ms Paiva wrote online on Wednesday: “Unfortunately, the Paiva family and friends have been dealing with the loss of a beautiful soul due to suicide.
“Kiara suffered for years silently and decided to take her life on Monday, January 7.
“In my best efforts, I would like to raise as much money as possible for the funeral costs, but also any extra I would love to donate to Bermuda Mental Health Foundation.”
Ms Paiva said mental health had “always been a strong factor” in her own life and had “taken a toll” on her family.
She added: “Every little donation counts and helps.
“I want Kiara to know she is loved and supported.
“She was a precious angel and her light did not get to shine. It is our job to make sure it shines for her.”
The message was signed with thanks from the Paiva family and friends.
More than $5,200 in donations from 73 people had been registered by last night.
Ms Paiva, who lives in Nova Scotia, added on her own Facebook page: “I have decided to do as much as possible for my family, as I can’t hold and hug them through this sad time.”
She added: “You’re for ever in our hearts Kiara. Let us shine your light for you.”
Other Facebook users praised Ms Paiva’s fundraising efforts. One said: “Kiki would have been honoured.”
Another wrote: “Thoughts and prayers are with Kiara’s family and true and loyal friends. You now have a beautiful angel watching over you.”
News of the tragic death stunned schoolmates and staff at Kiara’s school, the Berkeley Institute in Pembroke, and youngsters were offered counselling.
The Berkeley board of governors said on Wednesday that Kiara’s death had had “a profound effect” on the school and that support for staff and pupils was of the “utmost importance”.
Martha Dismont, the executive director of Family Centre, said any family that experienced the loss of a child had her sympathy. She said: “The recent incident of a young 15-year-old’s passing prompts us to, once again, stop and pause for the required moments to consider what we need to be paying attention to regarding adolescent development and emotional wellbeing.”
Ms Dismont said Bermuda was “layered with stressors that challenge young persons, and adults”, including academic expectations, social and peer pressure, social media, trauma and loss.
• If you need support or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please seek professional help or call the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute’s 24-hour hotline at 236-3770