1 year ago today, I was woken at 4 by Alhassan feeling unwell and wanting me to bring food. Reassured by the doctor that they would take care of him and he was fine, I went back to sleep. 2 hours later, the other doctor called, knowing that I am the driver, asking if there was someone who could drive me in.
Now, it feels like years and years since I held Alhassan for the last time, his body still warm but all life gone. A terrible painful unforgettable moment.
Since then, on so many occasions, I have turned to tell him something, or to phone him, to share a joke, a concern, a fear..... It used to take my breath away all over again when I would realise once more that it could never be again. It has been like learning to breathe again. I am learning though and thanks to the great love and support of so many, we have been able to keep moving forwards, and furthering a cause that Alhassan was so proud to be involved in.
Alhassan was a very special man, with a love for life and a love for people that made him beloved by so many. I may not have considered myself fortunate this time last year but I know now that I was lucky to have had him and be loved by him, even if our time together was so short.
I will never forget him. I will never stop loving him. It will be a while before my tears are completely dried. I believe I am not alone. He was brother, father and friend to so many. Kofi, without whom I would have been so lost this year, is the most special gift from him I could ever have.
To all the students, staff, and friends who loved and appreciated Alhassan and who, with me, miss him still now, Kofi and I extend our thanks for all your support, strength and love. May we all continue, faithful to his memory, to fight for a just and peaceful Sierra Leone where every life has value and where death is kept for the very old and for unavoidable disasters.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk