Family prepares final rites, mother recalls last moment

WHILE families across the country are rebuilding their homes in the aftermath of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, one family in Naboutini, Sabeto, is planning the final rites for their daughter who passed away last weekend.

Priyashna Payal, a 16-year-old student of Sabeto College, lost her life as a result of the difficulties posed by Severe TC Winston.

Her mother, Sunila Kumar, said Payal had started developing a fever and complained about feeling unwell after the roof of their house was blown off, destroying all their possessions and groceries in the process.

“She was asthmatic and sickly but her condition worsened after the cyclone,” the 50-year-old said.

“After the roof of the house was blown off, we all had to seek shelter in a lorry that was outside.”

When they eventually found transport and took their daughter to the hospital, it was too late.

“I was devastated when the doctors told me my daughter wouldn’t live. Her last words to me were ‘Mum, I don’t think I’ll live’.”

Mrs Kumar broke down in tears as she relayed how the entire family was devastated.

“I wish I had lost my house instead of my daughter. A house can be rebuilt but my daughter will never come back.”

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