Firstly, an apology — it has taken far too long for me for me to update you. For those who have yet to be informed, I hope you can understand why it has taken me some time.
January, which seems like years ago now, was a very very tough month. When I returned to Patrick’s side just after the new year, I saw a massive difference in Patrick’s physical and psychological state. Throughout the month of December, Patrick’s mind and body had deteriorated incredibly. Not only were his existing sores not healing, but nearly TEN new sores had formed. I could not believe it. What was only a blemish when we arrived in Ghana was taking his life.
After suffering for the past two and a half months, Patrick was ready to leave this world. We spent only one week together before his suffering finally ended.
After 6 days of preparations, with the support of my Godsend, Jocelyne Lapointe (Canadian radiologist working to build capacity at KBTH), I traveled with Patrick’s body back to Sierra Leone to join his friends and family in prayer and celebration of Patrick’s life.
Following the traditional march (walking/driving alongside the hurse through Patrick’s neighbourhood), vigil (or “waking” — prayer and speeches with friends and family, throughout the night before the burial), funeral and burial, many of Patrick’s extended family stayed with his mother in their family house in Bo until the 40 days’ ceremony, when we gathered again for a waking and celebration the following day. After the 40 days, the Christian belief is that Patrick’s spirit will have then left this world and reached the gates of heaven.
I am touched by the way in which my friends and family, in Canada, Ghana, Sierra Leone and even other countries have reached out to Patrick and I during this difficult time. Thank you for all your contributions and support. We were touched and very grateful for all the love and support you have shown.
Looking forward from this, KBNF is offering to contribute to a project in Patrick’s name. After consultation with existing rehabilitation providers in Sierra Leone, we are planning to collaborate to help improve the existing services, so that people such as Patrick have an option for rehab in Sierra Leone, where they can be surrounded and supported by their friends and family during recovery.
Further, KBNF is also supporting Korle-Bu Hospital’s Nursing heads to adapt their practices to better support patients with mobility challenges, to help prevent (life-threatening) pressure sores. For more information on KBNF’s activities: kbnf.org
Again, my apologies for taking so long to notify you.