‘Please pray for our Bahamasland,’ Canadian victim wrote before Dorian hit
Hours before hurricane Dorian pounded the Bahamas obliterating entire neighbourhoods, Alishia Sabrina Liolli asked her friends and loved ones on social media to pray for her family and the small island she called home.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified; but the dogs, chickens, husband & children are inside and everything is batted down the best we could!” the 27-year-old Ontario woman wrote on Facebook at 11:42 p.m. on Saturday, just before the full thrust of the storm hit. “I love you all — please pray for our Bahamasland, especially our Abaco. We will keep everyone updated as best we can!”
On Thursday, Liolli was confirmed to be one of at least 20 people killed during the storm.
Her friends and family took to social media to express their shock and sadness at the news.
“Can’t believe this is real … a life taken too soon,” her cousin, Aislinn Liolli, said in a Facebook post. “I lost my best friend, my confidante, my rock, my person. Alishia you were a ray of sunshine, always grateful, would give the shirt off your back to anyone. You made the world a better place.”
Aislinn Liolli said her cousin was “always smiling, always joking, able to make anyone feel better.”
Liolli lived with her family in Marsh Harbour, a small town on the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. She grew up in a small town near Windsor, Ont., said her friend Ryan McKenna.
The two first met at Ryerson University. Liolli, as a residence adviser and slightly older than the incoming first-year students, was the de facto leader of the floor at Pittman Hall, a student residence at the university, McKenna said.
“I always called her ‘mom,'” he said. “She was always looking after me, an 18-year-old kid from P.E.I in the big city for the first time.”
McKenna said Liolli was a motherly figure to other students at Ryerson.
“She was a calming influence and somebody who always tried to encourage unity on our floor,” he said. “She organized the first movie night, got everyone to go out for dinner together. She was always trying to unify the group and she did a great job of it.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money to bring Liolli’s body back to Canada.
The organizer of the GoFundMe page said Liolli worked at a school in the Bahamas that was destroyed during the storm, and that any extra money raised would be used to help rebuild it.
Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had an incorrect last name for Alishia Sabrina Liolli