New Era (Windhoek)

14 January 2013

Namibia: Lightning Victim On the Mend

Rundu — It has taken several operations and close to a month in hospital, but the boy who survived a lightning strike and subsequent fire that left his mother and brother dead is recovering well in the Rundu State Hospital.

Two-year-old Godfried Hausiku remains in hospital where is receiving medical care for the burns that nearly cost him his legs. Doctors had contemplated amputating his legs. Wearing bandages on both his legs, the minor seemed unfazed by his environment and condition as he played outisde his hospital room when New Era visited him yesterday morning.

Hausiku sustained severe burns on his legs at the beginning of December, while sitting in a family hut at Mutjokotjo village in western Kavango. The fire was caused by lightning, which killed Paulina Hausiku (46) and her son Isekwa Ngondo (16), while she was preparing a meal in one of the huts used as a kitchen.

"There was talk of amputating his legs, but one of the doctors suggested that the chances of him recovering are high because of his young age. Luckily he was not injured on any other parts of his body," said Hausiku's father, Emilianus Siwombe, who presently stays in the surgical ward to take care of his son.

A father of seven, Siwombe said he intends registering his children with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare so that they can receive state grants since he is unemployed. "Since I do not work, we just survive from our yearly mahangu harvest. Now that I am with the boy in the hospital, my other children had to go live with their grandmother until I go back home," said Siwombe.

He praised the medical staff at the hospital for the exceptional treatment during their stay at the hospital. "I want to thank the nurses for taking good care of us, because the treatment they have given my son has been working well," he said.

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