Paradise 4 Kids

ANNA’S TRAGIC DEATH

AIMG-20150521-WA0010bout four years ago we baptized Anita Mustafa into the Orthodox Church, here in Sierra Leone. We gave her a new name – Anna.
As a natural leader, Anna quickly became a leader in our Cathedral Choir and a shining light among the Orthodox Youth Fellowship of Sierra Leone. She was a Form Five student at one of the better high schools here in Freetown. She came from a poor family but with our help and her educational aspirations her future looked bright. Indeed a week ago oe so plans were made for us to pay for her school fees as well as those of other members of the choir.

Just after last Sunday turned to Monday at Midnight we experienced a terrible storm here in Freetown. It was pouring rain, it was thundering and it was pitch dark due to power cuts, when Anna’s father ran hastily into our Mission Compound in Freetown. He was in a desperate and frantic state of mind. He was accompanied by Constantine another young member of our Cathedral Choir. He breathlessly announced to our compound Manager, Kyriakos Koroma, that his daughter Anna was having seizures and they had no means of securing medical assistance. This is a constant episode here among the poor. Many people die needlessly simply because of lack of money.

The father was immediately given some money and his daughter was taken to a hospital. However the drama does not end there. It only begins.

At the hospital, as we later discovered, this talented teenager was experiencing a series of heart attacks. She was also apparently quite anemic. While the nurses on duty were quite happy to take the money no treatment was given. They simply said that they can do nothing sybstantial until the doctor would report for duty at eight in the morning. Indeed we managed to send more mnoney. But while waiting for hours for the doctor to arrive Anna died!

Several issues, therefore, become a serious cause of concern:

  1. If the nurses knew that no doctor would be available until the morning why did they not advise the family to take Anna to another medical centre? Were they afraid of losing the fee?
  2. Since the nurses knew that the doctor would not arrive until 8.00AM why did they not at least try to save her?
  3. According to medical regulations here all hospitals should have a 24 hour doctor service. That this hospital did not renders them guilty at best with gross negligence at worst with culpable homicide.

These episodes are not unique to Anna. They are a symptom of the poor medical system that we have here and the fear among health workers as a consequence of the Ebola outbreak which often leads to a kind of treatment paralysis.

I will refer this matter to the Medical Association of Sierra Leone. At least let Ana’s death not be in vain if something can be done to ensure a 24 hour medical system here.

As with all deaths in this time, Anna will be buried by the Ebola burial team in a few days. We will conduct prayers at the graveside. Her funeral service will be held on Saturday without the body.

May her Memory be Eternal. May Christ grant her a beautiful place in paradise.

Now, my resolve is to create a 24/7 medical Clinic with doctors at all times.

+ (Archimandrite) Themistocles Adanopoulos

Eve of the Ascension (20 / 5 / 15)

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6 Responses

  1. Natalia says:

    May she rest in peace! Such a beautiful girl! May God strengthen her family to bear such a tragedy…

  2. Dear father, this is really tragic. My heart sank into my stomach whilst reading your report. I remember going with you to visit Nick the Greek in hospital the very first day I was in Freetown with you some years ago (may the Lord grant mercy and rest to his soul). And I also remember, after seeing the condition of the hospital, how you gently advised me not to get sick during my visit. I can’t possibly imagine the heart ache that Anna’s father, family and those closest to her must be feeling. I sense frustration in your words, and believe it will motivate you even more, if that’s even possible. Memory eternal to Anna, and our prayers and thoughts to her and her family. May the Lord continue to give you, and all those around you, strength father.

  3. Graham Johnson says:

    Memory eternal!

  4. Anna Sen says:

    Father THEMI , that’s so sad!
    May she rest in peace.

  5. Charalmbos Georgiou says:

    God rest her soul, may she be with the Angels and leading your choir from another place assisted with the Angels who offer up hymns to God.
    May the ascension bring peace and comfort to her suffering friends and family and warmth to those close to her that she may be eternally remembered before God.
    My condolences to you all

    In Christ
    Harry Georgiou

  6. Ian says:

    May Anna’s memory be eternal!

    And may God provide comfort to all who knew and loved Anna.

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