Dad painfully reminisces loss of daughter

Jone Tikoca 13 and his brother Aseri Tikoca 13 holding a picture of their late sister Ulamila during the WOW'S thanksgiving service at the USP ICT Centre yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

JONE Tikoca Sr lost his nine-year-old daughter Ulamila last year after she was diagnosed with brain tumour in 2015.

Yesterday, the father of seven drew the attention of those present at the Walk On Walk Strong (WOWS) Kid’s 10th anniversary thanksgiving service as he emotionally articulated on how his family battled to live with the experience of having to look after his sick daughter.

Mr Tikoca said he could not fully describe what they felt after they were informed of his daughter’s health, but as a family, they felt that their faith in God was tested.

He said the doctors and also his family were unaware of his daughter’s health status for a while, even though her daughter was going in and out of hospital when she was three years old because they could not control her fever at home, and in 2013 she suffered a seizure.

“We did not know what was happening to her so we rushed her to the hospital where she was admitted for two days,” Mr Tikoca said.

He said in 2014, Ulamila started school at Delainamasi Government School in Nasinu as a Year 1 student. But she did not complete school that year because she started to show weakness with her arms and legs.

Mr Tikoca said in 2015, the doctors then confirmed to the family that his daughter had only a few months to live as they had identified a tumour at the back of her brain.

“From that moment on, our faith was tested because we believed in God and also in miracles and together as a family, we started praying and fasting,” Mr Tikoca said.

Taholo Kami, the father of 15-year-old Tae Kami who died of cancer in August 2008 during the thanksgiving church service at USP, also described how his daughter died and her list of dreams, which included a resource room, scholarship funds, a hospital and WOWS Fund to help children with cancer in Tonga and the Pacific.

WOWS Kids Fiji (WKF) is a non-profit charity foundation for children living with cancer.

It was established in 2014.

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