Mr. Thompson died Saturday morning. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“It is a loss to not of the people of Barbados, but also the people of the Caribbean,” said Dr. Douglas in his initial reaction.
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Mr. Erasmus Williams said a full statement from Prime Minister Douglas on Mr. Thompson’s death is to be issued later Saturday. Messages of condolence will also be sent to the family and the Government.
Thompson, 48, died at his private residence in Mappas, St Phillip, with his family by his side.
He leaves to mourn an entire nation, along with his wife Mara and three daughters – Mischa, Oya and Osa-Marie. He is also survived by mother Margaret Knight and father Charles Thompson.
It was back in May that Thompson announced to the nation he was suffering stomach pains since March. On September 16th, after several trips to seek medical attention overseas, his personal physical revealed the diagnosis.
Thompson had been undergoing treatment and had been in and out of office for several months, travelling to and from the New York Presbyterian Hospital where he was being given chemotherapy to shrink the tumour in his pancreas so it could be safely removed. He had lost a significant amount of weight over the past few months because of it.
At the end of last month, in an audio address to the nation (which he chose not to do on camera because he said he wanted people to focus on the message and not how he looked), he announced he had reshuffled his Cabinet, giving up much of his responsibilities to other ministers, including passing over the portfolio of Finance to Chris Sinckler. Thompson’s deputy, Freundel Stuart, has been acting as Prime Minister.
Thompson became the Barbados Prime Minister after leading the Democratic Labour Party to victory in the January 15th 2008 elections.