LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
AFTER a spirited fight with a highly malignant type of cancer that left his face swollen and deformed, three-year-old Mathew Imasiku of Lusaka died at the Cancer Diseases Hospital yesterday.
Little Mathew’s suffering, which was brought into the public glare by the Sun and ZNBC2 television channel last week, melted the hearts of many readers and viewers.
His death has left the boy’s parents devastated.
They are, however, grateful for the quick response by First Lady Esther Lungu, who gave them support when they appealed for help.
His Father, Imbuwa Imasiku, said yesterday the boy died around 04:00 hours and thanked Mrs Lungu for the support she had given the family.
A grieving Mr Imasiku told the Sun in an interview it was sad that the child died after help had been found.
He said Mrs Lungu had promised them that she was willing to go an extra mile to see to it that the child was well again.
“We were informed that the First Lady had plans of evacuating our son to America (United States) so that specialist doctors could attend to him. It’s sad that after help was found the child died. I loved my boy. I am very hurt. He was our last born child,” Mr Imasiku said.
He said the family planned to bury Matthew’s remains tomorrow (Tuesday) if it found money to meet the cost of the burial.
“We are looking around for finances. As you are aware life is not easy in Lusaka,” Mr Imasiku said.
Matthew’s mother, Susan Imasiku, thanked God for giving her the child and the years she had spent with him on earth.
Mrs Imasiku also thanked Ms Lungu for responding quickly to their call for help.
“It’s sad that the child has died. It’s the will of God. We are grateful to God that Ms Lungu was willing to help us. May God bless her so much,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Imasiku had appealed for help to save the life of their child, who had a swollen face, last week.
Mr Imasiku, who is a security officer at a security company in Lusaka, said their son had been suffering from the unknown illness since October last year and that all the treatment had failed.
But the Cancer Diseases Hospital later diagnosed him with an aggressive terminal cancer.
Matthew was unable to see and his parents had to feed him through a tube because he had difficulties in eating on his own.
A few days earlier Mr Imasiku had told the Sun that when little Matthew developed valves in his mouth they visited the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) for checkups.
He was later admitted for three months during which time he went through an operation.
Strangely, Mr Imasiku said, the boy’s face started swelling after the operation.