Two days after ODU pre-med student Damion Wilkins’ sudden death on a medical mission in Peru, NewsChannel 3 took action to cut through the red tape and help get his body home quickly.
And now just a week later, his family is getting results.
“Damion is coming home tomorrow. They are going to fly him to North Carolina and then drive him back to Norfolk,” says his mother Richell Dabney.
Richell originally thought it would take much longer to get his body back after the Peruvian government told her it would be 5-7 business days just to process the paperwork, let alone get him on the plane.
“Compared to the stories I’ve heard of it taking months and weeks, I’m happy,” she says.
And she says it’s all thanks to NewsChannel 3.
“I appreciated you and your help. It was because of your guys’ station that he got back as fast as he did,” she says. “You guys got it out to everybody. In turn, those people went on Facebook, started calling phone numbers, that helped a lot.”
People they had never met took the time to call the American embassy in Lima, as well as the offices of Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.
And because they Took Action, she Got Results.
Damion’s funeral will be held Monday, July 28th at 11am at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.
The family says anyone who knew and loved Damion is invited to attend, including his friends from Landstown High and ODU.
Update: U.S. Embassy in Peru hopes to send dead ODU student’s body back home this week