David Woolman, a 23-year-old former resident of Carson, Nevada, died recently in Hangzhou.
A Hangzhou branch of the Taiwanese-owned DD Dragon School is reportedly refusing to contribute to the transportation fee for the body of one of their American teachers who died recently. The body of 23-year-old Nevada native David Woolman, who taught English at the DD Dragon School, is currently stuck in China, due to his relatives’ inability to raise the $12,818 USD transport fee that would allow for Woolman to be buried in the Woolman family plot in Genoa, Nevada.
On March 7th, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that the U.S. State Department informed the family that they’re able to request an extension to hold the body in China for up to two months, at a cost of $50 USD per day.
The Chinese government reportedly has the authority to destroy the body if the fee is not paid. Woolman’s mother Sheri Payne Grell says, “The American Embassy in China has informed me that the sands of time are falling quickly to retrieve his body before China disposes of it.”
Meanwhile, the DD Dragon School is reportedly refusing to contribute to the family’s bid to bring Woolman’s body home from Hangzhou. The following text is compiled from messages on Grell’s Facebook page:
They recruit our kids from US then when anything happen they turn their head away. A typical company in China would contribute and try to help out as much as possible through either the work Union Fund or employee donation. This is the tradition. [DD Dragon School] is not behaving properly and they should support us.
[DD Dragon School] should show a gesture of goodwill and sympathize with the family. I found out that the School had our telephone number from day one and they just called me last night. Not to mention the woman that called me because my Chinese friend insisted her to call. Her main concern when she spoke to my friend was to worry about the potential financial loss to the school and the school’s reputation.
I am not asking her to pay all of the expenses, But along with David’s final paycheck, a contribution on behalf of the school and a collection from the employees is customary in China. I also requested a copy of David’s work contract and she said would email it and never did. She lied several times to me and my sister. She didn’t even apologize to me.
Authorities are currently investigating the Hangzhou branch of DD Dragon School. Though the cause of Woolman’s death has not been officially determined, a link from a forum user on Hangzhou Expat claims Woolman died after falling off a roof.
Meanwhile, Grell has made a plea for donations to bring Woolman’s body back to the United States:
My heart is broken. I want to thank all of my family and friends for their support in the death of my oldest son David Woolman. It saddens me because he died in China and it is not cheap to retrieve his body.
In my desperation, I am asking that instead of sending flowers that a donation be made so that we can bring my son home and give him a proper burial.
If anyone is interested in helping I will be forever indebted to you. Even as little as a $1 would help.
To contribute to a PayPal fund for bringing David Woolman’s body from Hangzhou back to Nevada (deadline for raising $12,818 is March 16th), visit PayPal.com here, and click Send Money Online (account name: [email protected]).
Or to contribute via bank transfer, click here.