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Teen drowns a week short of 16th birthday

Shayal Devi
Thursday, March 20, 2014

PHILIP Abhishek was to have turned 16 next week, and his mother Shanti Devi was planning to celebrate the big day with her youngest and only son.

Those plans, however, were cut short after a drowning tragedy last Saturday.

The bodies of Philip and a 17-year-old cousin were found in the Nadi River on Monday following a search after they failed to return home from an outing in the Namotomoto area on Saturday. The mother-of-two who lives and works in Suva said her last conversation with her son was about his weekly allowance.

"He called to tell me that he wanted to go to town and asked if I would be sending him some money," the distraught 46-year-old said.

"I told him I would be sending him $20 and we talked for a while before he had to go. He said 'I love you, mum, take care and stay safe', before hanging up.

"Later, I called his father to talk to him when I was informed that he was still in town. I then received a call later to inform me my son was dead."

Mrs Devi said the last few days were the hardest of her life.

"He was such a jovial boy. Whether it was at home or school, he was always smiling and had a good spirit."

The Form Four student of Mulomulo Secondary School was eagerly anticipating the arrival of his sister and one-year-old nephew from New Zealand in a couple of weeks. He will be laid to rest at Wailoaloa cemetery tomorrow.

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