Dominican in St. Martin wants answers to son’s death

Dominican Catherine Simon has been residing in St. Martin since 1996/Photo credit:

A Dominican woman living in St. Martin is searching for an explanation for the death of her 11-year-old son.

According to a report on, Olivier Laurence died on December 15 after becoming ill on November 27. His mother, Catherine Simon, claims that she constantly sought attention from medical authorities, including a private doctor and medical workers at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital. However, authorities did not seem to be able to provide a concrete diagnosis. She said although the child was not tested, doctors suggested that he had dengue and gave him medicine, including a syrup, and told her that the child would get better.

When the child became more sick Simon asked for documentation to transfer him to a Martinique or Guadeloupe hospital, but was told that this was not necessary.

The child’s condition continued to deteriorate and when he had an adverse reaction to a blood transfusion, doctors began making the arrangements to have him moved to Martinique, but it was too late. The boy died en route to the island. She has been told that he may have been suffering from an infection which attacked his vital organs.

Simon’s anguish was evident in her interview with smn-news. An illegal resident in the Caribbean island, she cannot make demands or travel as freely as she would wish. She had been unable to leave the island to travel to Martinique to make arrangements for the transporting of her son’s body.

Simon arrived in St. Martin in 1996 and has been employed there, but her application for residency on the French side of the island has been denied on a number of occasions. She saidher son, now dead, had also been affected by her illegal status as he was not allowed to go on a class trip off the island. Attempts to return  to Dominica with the child were also thwarted, by Dominican authorities who would not accept him as he was born in St. Martin and not in possession of a travel document.

As Simon tries to ascertain what exactly killed her son, she is also struggling to arrange for his body to be transported to St. Martin where he was born. She has already refused an offer by a social worker to have the body cremated in Martinique and the ashes returned to her. She has been told that she has no right to contest or fight to bring the body back to St. Martin since she is residing there illegally.

Olivier Laurence died en route to Martinique/Photo credit:

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    September 20, 2011

    this is just one of the many situation that stragers encounter in the french teritories,all because of their so called set apart law.This is so sad.ANYWAY COURAGE MISS

  2. J
    August 3, 2010


  3. dear god
    July 30, 2010

    Sxm is in a crisis right now and the people to be blamed are the goverment people, commisioners, prosicutors, and police officers. Dear god i pray we open our eyes before it’s too late…late i said in a wink the time is here.let the officials know that their tricks are no longer accepted nor bought, let them do what they are doing then when hell brake loose here they gonna leave us behing in a mess they created. Lord help all the politricians all of them, they needs prayers, they are fooling themselves, they are thieves and liars. I don’t want nothing to do with politics. I am going to vote for one person that you. I am of that party, that ship, that road forget you false people around who thiefing to enrich you and yours. help us here god, we need blessings and purity.

  4. dear god
    July 30, 2010

    dear god, help my little island not only about this type of things but about us as individuals here in a whole. The Chinese and indians have what they want here…but here is where i am from.
    As a young entrepeneur the goverment sends me bills left and right , but the indians and chinese don’t pay taxes for 10years. DP government was no good but the NA is worst. All they do is fool the people, not me..i stop voting longtime already, they promise you before they get in, when they’re in it’s all bout them traveling for house furniture, cruises, family reunions then say they are working for sxm

  5. puss
    July 30, 2010

    sorry fella but someting went wrong

  6. chipman
    July 30, 2010

    they still fighting and discriminating us

  7. Chacha
    June 19, 2010

    she better go back in her countrie dread =[

  8. March 11, 2010

    please ayou illigals alwais trying to do the impossible go back to ayou dam country nuh dread and r.i.p to the lil boy

  9. tutu
    January 27, 2010

    wy you not checking the gouverment of dominica to help you

  10. DE
    January 7, 2010

    My heart goes out to the lady, he is a cute little boy and he is an angel in heaven. I have lived in sxm so i know how the system works, so sad when comes to health , there should be no discrimination , after all he is a human being. Lady god be with you and he will give you the courage and strength to move really breaks my heart. we have you in our prayers.

  11. December 29, 2009

    it is true she could get a passport 4 her child while she is living in st martin the child is a dominica by decent through his mother being born in dominica so an excused that she could not get document to go to dom/ca is just rubish, wake up dominican in foriegh land ur home is urs don,t stay in that foreighn land and forget dominica then make excuses

  12. December 28, 2009

    i am sad to hear about the child passing. But the mother did not have to go to Dominica to get a passport for her son. She could do it from right here. Some Dominicans just dont like to go back home when they in foreign. she could find somebody to watch the children for a week. I feel for the boy but not the mother.

  13. all of us
    December 25, 2009

    i dont understand what people mean when they say i cannot go back home ..the point is you cant go back to st martin but you are more than welcome to go to dominica.go get your son ,they worst thing that can harpen is that they will send you to dominica and that of corse is not a bad thing .thats a warning to all of us that live in other people country illigally (and that doesnt apply to only dominican only)

  14. Foolishness
    December 23, 2009

    To all Domincans living in a foreign country legally:

    If you have children in the foreign country and you cannot get documents for the child from the country where the child was born, please I beg you to get a Dominican passport for your child. As long as one of the parents is a Dominican, whether mother or father, the child is a DOminican citizen too. B But we cannot just sit and say Oh my child is a Dominican because I am one. You have to get the proof, which in this case is a passport form Dominica for the child. Obviously you will have to get the passport, in order for the child to be accepted into Dominica, because the child’s birth certificate will be from a foreign land, and the child would not be able to travel to Dominica on a foreign birth certificate. That’s why Dominica would not accept the child. If he had a passport he would be accepted.

    I don’t know of other places where this happens, but in The BVI where I live, children of foreigners who live there LEGALLY are denied passports for the child until the child reaches 10 and is registered or 18 and naturalised. You only get a birth certificate. And I say legally, so you can imagine if you were illegal, they just don’t give you the time of day.

    Me, in the interim I got my child a Dominican passport pronto, and he can travel on it anywhere also with the necessary visas.

    As for those illegal, Mam, I feel your pain, but the fact remains you were illegal, and maybe thats why they are treating you that way. I always say that I would rather be in Dominca and be poor, than to be in another man’s country poor, and illegal at that.

    Please if this is the situation you know you are going to be sent back to Dominica, so the best advice I can give you now, is to call the Govt and see whether they can accept the child’s dead body to be buried there.

    Again accept my sympathy.

  15. Saddended
    December 23, 2009

    this really is a hurtful situation and no one can understand what this mother is going through. I really hope that in the end there is some explanation out of all of this.

    Well, it is somewhat true that you can apply for a passport for your child when u are from Dominica but I’m sure u would need some sort of documents for her son. Do you really believe she had them?? If she did do u think she could leave SXM and they would let her come back so easy?? Her job goin give her the time off?? Who goin watch her children when she gone??….. the real issue is could the boy have been given a Dominican passport if she had no supporting documents and furthermore he wasnt even allowed to leave SXM.

    read the full story

    Watch a person’s circumstances before u pass judgement

  16. J Royer
    December 23, 2009

    With or without papers this mother, born in Dominica, can always go to Dominica. She may not be able to go back to St. Maarten but I will NEVER believe she can’t go back home. As for her son’s corpse; I do not believe that it (the corpse) can not go to Dominica. Why would St. Maarten deny re-entry to a person born on the Island whether or not its parents are not of the Island. And why would Dominica deny entry of a person born of Dominican parents (one or both)? The corpse has to be buried. The parent/parents of that corpse should be allowed to prepare for the burial and should attend the funeral wherever it takes place. I sympathize with the mother especially because there’s no greater loss than that of a child. I’d say to the lady, if for whatever reason you can not go back to St. Maarten it’s okay. Home will always welcome you and I think you should make the efffort to get your son’s corpse and give him a proper burial, in St. Maarten where he was born or in Dominica, where you came from. Birth is everywhere and Death is also everywhere. Accept my sympathy and may God bless you.

  17. Caribbean Woman
    December 22, 2009

    I do feel the lady pain and may God confort her in her loss. I also have to say that it has been awile since French side (Sain Martin FWI) law stated that if one of the parents of a child does not have French Pasport, the child only gets a birt certificate. If one of the parents have a 10 year card, then the child would possible get a 10 year card. If they are illigal, all hell broke loose, they do not even recognise you. Then the Dutch side also started with the same process. Now I disagree with what happen to the lady in St. Maarten/Saint Martin with her situation because where health is concern, being legal or illegal must be put aside because you are dealing with a human beeing life.

    However we most understand that a lot of foreiners entering St. Maarten/Saint Martin abused the system. Therefore the innocent pays for the guilty. You had people just come into the island breeding like guinea pigs and demanding pasport, social security, Caf etc and not even looking for a job On the Dutch side they clung on Understand (Welfare) like ticks on a dog and did not want to work. So the job was to breed and get money. So guess that the people got sick and tired of it so the whole system change. Already the Dutch have to deal with their unruly Antilliens and now also foreiners!

    You have a lot of diffrent nationalities here on the island with kids who has difficulty entering into school, cannot obtain scholarship, advance studies etc. Then a next situation in getting them to obtain right from the country of orgin of their parents!

    Again I do not condem the lady but we must be honest and respect the people law especially now where crime is raising and job cuts is on an increase. They will always look to blame foreigners!!! All Caribbean islands are now cracking down on illegals. Thus St. Maarten/Saint Martin is not and exemption.

    On the French side you have the Dominica support group and on the dutch side you have the Dominica Association. My thing is that both of these entaties consists of Dominican either by birth or by parents and it seems as though they do not get along pretty well. These are the cases they should be attentive to instead of competing/fighting against each other. This is sad but it is true. The thing is when people talk the truth you get condem but only a wise man will see the real happenings.

    Lately they had a Brooks Tower Accord on the Dutch side which allowed persons living on St. Maarten and came in before December 2001 to be able to request papers for themselves, but again the people so do not like other foreigners that they gave the illegal nationals a head acke trying to obtain all type off legal papers which will disqualify them from the requirements.

    Now all you see in the news papers is Indiginiuos ST. Maarten/ Sain Martin people telling you to go back home. And many other nasty remarks. As this is a Dominica news website I would like to ask anyone who has a family member and love them, once you know they do not have papers for an omny amount of year, please help them get the proper documentation for their children in Dominica enable to go back to their country. To be a dog in a foreign country is very bad because you can even get poisened, it is best to be the dog in your own country because at least you know which ally to prowl in because somebody will always stretch a helping hand for you.

    The Dutch people have a saying: No where to rest, Home is the best………………………………..
    Again I extend my condolances to this Lady and will keep her up in prayers. All I can advise you is to seek the Dominica Support Group or the Dominica Association or Go to the press, tv someone will help you. Even if they send you back home at least you get to see your sons body one last time and lay it to rest.

    Leave God be your light and salvation and leave the people country alone…yours have nature and as I saw once on a comment, Instead of cleaning a man Sh-T, and getting bite by his fleas, better clean your own and contribute to your own island because when the fleas come out you know how to deal with them or kill them because you are from there!!!

  18. December 22, 2009

    i am deeply saddened by this news.i went to smn-news and read the entire story. i cant stop crying. i feel like it my son was wrong of these people to deny this innoncent child proper care because of his mother’s status.and to add insult to injury they want to deny her son a proper burial.after the government deny her a chance to go martinique.if it was me i WOULDN’T bury my child there.bring your son dominica and bury him least IF things get worse and they depot her she know where her son body is resting in peace.she can go there talk to him and cry all her cry.she need to take legal action against the school,the private dr and the will not bring him back, but trust me somebody else child will not die because their parent have no a french citizen i am soo ashasmed for the manner in which the government treating his women.and to all st.martin ppl leaving all those nasty comments telling her to go back to her country,karma is a bitch,all you turn next.

  19. spirit
    December 22, 2009

    jb the little boy is french he was not born in D/A but is dominican throu his mother and mabey father if he is dominican. the chinees , hatians and spanish comes in without any problem so this boy should never be deny entry.

  20. December 22, 2009

    So sad for your loss ,but my lady plez call on the rich government of Dominica to assist you since you are a citizen of Dominica , hope that at least you have the dignity of burying your child soon may God bless and keep you, this i s just part of the bull…. peole have to go through living illegally in other peoples counrties. I do hope all this will be addressed this time around mr Skerrit.

  21. JB
    December 22, 2009

    Lord have mercy. The woman isnt legal but her son is so I think the govt should try their best to have the litle boy return and the lady see her son one more time ( not ashes).

    When you are in a foreign land you get treated differently much less for when you dont have your papers. Am thinking, not only she is not legal maybe she doesnt have th financial means, thats why she is being treated like that. I didnt realize how bad illegal people get treatedthat until i went with my friend to the hospital and she was in and out of consciousness and they were asking her her info and would even touch her unless she signed to pay an initial $550. i hope she gets to see her son

  22. angel
    December 22, 2009

    But we continue to bash our country, some of us threaten to leave when elections result does not go their way. While we pretend we will be better off elsewhere we face the harsh reality that it is not so. Sorry for your loss lady, hope you find courage in knowing that the lord has a plan for your son, such a cutie.

  23. jb
    December 22, 2009

    The sad thing is that she was refused entry to dominica. The boy is a Dominican citizen by birth, who cares that he does not have documentation.

    Why is it such a big deal not to have the body cremated in Martinque? it would certainly make things easier. you can’t be stubborn with pride in this critical time Catherine. Take the social worker up on her offer.

  24. spirit
    December 22, 2009

    I have lived in st martin for 3 1/2 years so i know how the sysstem works down there. french side have very GOOD doctors but if you are elligal they dont realy care much about you. and if you dont have insurance then you know how. i had an accident there and spent 36 hour s there and was issued three bags of drips and twelve stiches and had to pay $1413.00 us before i could live the hospital. dutch side is plee mal. I really feel your pain madam and will remember u in my prays. Thank GOD we have free medical care in dominica though not the best.

  25. Mike
    December 22, 2009

    Should n’t that case be treated on humanitarian grounds?

  26. Unbelievable
    December 22, 2009

    This is so sad. Can’t the father of the child ask that the chld remains be sent to St. Martin? And what’s wrong with the authorities, its a dead child for crying out loud. The lady just wants to bury her child.

  27. December 22, 2009

    This is an unfortunate situation. Not playing politics, but my dear, if you were in Dominica you would have received assistance under the ‘red clinic’ program and possibly saved your son’s life. We criticize so badly the good we have going for us until we hear these kinds of stories.

    God bless you dear.

  28. pepper
    December 22, 2009

    R.I.P SON.I hope that she can get some help with her crisis now. I have been living in a country for a few years now and i do have a child in this country and i hope to god i never have to face what this lady is going through now. From one mother to another i feel your pain and reading your stories make cry. Just keep the faith and The almighty god with see you through your pain.

  29. pillow
    December 22, 2009

    this is a very very sad situation and my heart goes out to this family!

  30. concerned1
    December 22, 2009

    why she doe leave the ppl country?

  31. jeandominique
    December 22, 2009

    That is exactly where our Dominican Representatives come in. This lady needs the support of her Home Land, isnt there suppose to be a French Consul Officer?


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