Take a minute, here, friends. Day 6 of Single Daddin’ It is for a new single dad whose wife died Monday, along with her unborn child who wouldn’t come out. Yeah, you read that right — wouldn’t come out. He’s now a single dad of three kids — 5, 3 and 2, and no doubt going crazy with grief.
He’s also a Somalian journalist, was deputy editor of a large radio station, and is now running for his life. Extremists killed his boss and he was also targeted and shot in Somalia; is now in Uganda for care and also seeking asylum in the U.S. On Monday, the child died first. Some hours later the mother died, the dead child still inside her.
A German journalist friend of mine who helped get the family here to Uganda called me while the deaths were unfolding. How much can one person suffer? he asked me.
How can this be? I later asked Jean in Canada. Kampala is a capital city with doctors. This wasn’t out in the sticks in some village hut. People here have C-sections all the time. This is just crazy. But then, over 4,000 Ugandan mothers die every year during or before childbirth. Not a typo, friends – over 4,000 dead mothers a year just in Uganda.
Reminds of the time I got a call from Alice, a Ugandan friend, delivering at that moment. MISTER THOM! she screamed into my mobile from her clinic delivery bed. “IT’S NOT COMING OUT!” This is the exciting world that we live in, one where anyone can now relay their own death over a hand-held phone. Eventually Alice’s child, Divine, was born fine and we now pay Divine’s school fees because Alice, a single mother, is too dirt poor.
If you’re from the GTA and if you’re bothered by what you’re reading, I mean bothered enough to want to do something about it, then go to the annual Save the Mothers Dinner – Auction this coming Saturday at 6 pm. If you have another commitment –and, no, a movie night doesn’t count – then at least forward this to your Facebook Friends.
This is why Jean is in Canada and I’m Single Daddin’ It these days. Three hundred are now signed up, but there’s room for more. Go for a nice dinner and buy some unique African art. Really. Have a worthwhile night and learn more about the world that we live in.
Go for the sake of the Somalian journalist who’s now Single Daddin’ It. The guest speaker is named Elvis, a Congolese graduate of Jean’s program here in Uganda. More info is at http://www.savethemothers.org/news-media/annual-dinner-and-auction-event… Tell my bride that I sent you.