BELIZE CITY, Mon. Nov. 30, 2015–Former Transport Commissioner and politician, Philip Brackett, passed away over the weekend in Los Angeles, CA, USA, at the age of 53.
Although Brackett had been valiantly battling diabetes—one of the leading killers in Belize, he died after an accidental fall over the weekend, according to a family member who received the sad news on Sunday.
Geovanni Brackett told us that his uncle, who had had both legs amputated due to the complications of diabetes, had returned from church and fell from his wheelchair and hit his head. It was not the diabetes that killed him, Brackett indicated.
Amandala understands that Brackett had been in the US to receive medical treatment for his condition.
One of his last Facebook posts reflected on the triumphs he had had in the struggle to stay alive.
“I am thankful that this month makes five years since I have been living on dialysis and I am no longer thinking of dying,” Brackett wrote.
“Five years ago, I had come close to dying so many times that I became obsessed with the thought of death.
“In those days, Belizeans on dialysis were not surviving more than three years, if they reside in Belize,” he had remarked.
Writing on the occasion of Thanksgiving, which he celebrated with friends and family in the US, Brackett said, though, “I no longer think about death.”
His nephew told us that he has never seen his uncle brighter in spirit than during his last years, having his two feet amputated, and he had become a Christian, rededicating his life to Christ.
In his November 25, 2015 post, Philip Brackett said: “I am thankful that despite having lost both legs to the ravages of diabetes, I can still move around quite easily and freely. Five years ago, I told my wife I would rather die instead of doing dialysis. Well, I came close to death and realized that death was no romantic feat.
“Two years ago, before amputation, I thought I would prefer to die than to live without legs. Well, today I am a happy man without legs. I thank my God for this happiness and peace that he has given me.”
Geovanni said that his uncle, Philip, was one of his inspirations and an important role model in his life.
He said that his uncle had earned two Master’s degrees, and for the family which came out of Teakettle Village, Cayo, Philip attending St. John’s College was considered a major milestone. He had also won a government scholarship, Geovanni recalled.
“He was really brilliant!” his nephew recalled.
Philip Bracket is survived by his wife, Loletta, and children: Krisna and Khalil.
He will be cremated in the USA and his ashes brought home to Belize.
Brackett ran under a People’s United Party ticket in the Mesopotamia division in 2003 against the United Democratic Party’s Michael Finnegan. However, Henry Gordon, former UDP Secretary General, said that when he first met Brackett, it was through the UDP, with which Brackett was previously affiliated.
“If you think Geovanni can talk on rostrum, meet Philip Bracket! He knew what he wanted to say; how to say it! He could get a crowd going,” Gordon recalled.
His nephew told us, though, that Brackett was very good friends with John Saldivar, the UDP rep for Belmopan. He said that Brackett had assisted Saldivar for the 2008 elections and the two remained very good friends.
Amandala extends its deepest condolences to the family of the late Philip Brackett.
(Amandala tried to reach other members of Brackett’s immediate family; however, our calls went straight to their voicemail.)