An autopsy conducted on the body of actress Mairoon Ali, 55, yesterday, revealed that she died as a result of cerebral haemorrhage. Cerebral haemorrhage is bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain and is commonly referred to as a type of stroke. Ali, an entertainment icon, was found in the bathroom of her Carlton Street, St James, apartment by her son, soca artiste Olatunji Yearwood, at about 10.30 am on Sunday. Ali's sudden death sent shock waves throughout the local community, and condolences continue to pour in from various sectors of the society. And online, friends and fans left hundreds of notes and remembrances on her Facebook profile page. Viewing of the body takes place this afternoon from 4.30 to 5.30 pm at Holy Name Convent, Port-of-Spain.
The life and work of the actress and director will be celebrated tomorrow morning, during a public funeral ceremony at Queen's Hall in St Ann's, Port-of-Spain. There will be a slide presentation from 9 am, after which her family and members of the theatre fraternity will pay tribute to the playwright, radio host and television personality. Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, Mavis John, Penelope Spencer, Nikki Crosby, Ann Fridal, the Malik Folk Performers, 3 Canal and Ali's children are among those expected to deliver tributes. After the thanksgiving ceremony, there will be a private service and cremation for family and close friends at St James Crematorium.
Meanwhile, Dr Helmer Hilwig, head of the Emergency Department at Mt Hope General Hospital, who described himself as a "good friend" of Ali, said a cerebral haemorrhage could go unnoticed for many years. "In layman's terms, it would be called a stroke. It means that she had a large bleeding in the brain that caused her to loose her balance. I supposed that is how she fell." "It is not uncommon to die suddenly from a massive stroke, even though the person seems fine on the outside. "It might be that she had a weak spot in one of the blood vessels in her brain, and because she probably never complained about having intense headaches, it was never discovered.
"People can have them from an early age, and it's only when something dramatic happens, they find out." Dr Hilwig, who said he treated Ali in the past, noted that even if a doctor were called immediately to the scene, little could have been done to save her life. "This takes people by surprise; it's very difficult to predict in advance. Even if a doctor was around when she fell, probably not much could have been done." (With reporting by Gillian Moore)