Loving Words For Young Father Who Died From The Measles

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  •  Taulia Leota (Paulo's wife) with Teleiai Edwin Puni of the ASA Foundation. Photo/ASA Foundation
    Taulia Leota (Paulo's wife) with Teleiai Edwin Puni of the ASA Foundation. Photo/ASA Foundation

Deidre Fanene

The family of a young 39 year old father, are grieving his passing after his body was laid to rest at his home residence at Leauva’a during the week.

His death has left his loving wife uncertain about her young family as she too is still under intensive care treatment from the virus at the TTM Hospital.

The late Paulo Leota is one of the last two people to die from the epidemic; the second was a 3 months old baby of Matautu and Fagae’e, Savaii.

The measles death toll was idling at 81 when the pair were added to raise the count to 82 and 83 respectively.

“He is a seasonal worker and my sister relies on him for everything in their family,” consoling elder sister Laulu of the grieving widow tried to explain.

Taulia Leota, was allowed to leave the hospital to be with her family at the funeral of her husband but must return to the hospital where she is struggling to recover.

Breathing through an oxygen mask, Taulia in a soft voice said she missed her husband very much.

"It's hard and I never thought he would die but he was in the hospital for 3 weeks,

I don't know how I will ever forget him,” the heartbreak mother mourned.

"He will always have a special place in my heart as well as our children.

"Life is so unfair but it is something that I and my children have to live with.

"We will cherish all the good times we had spend with him in our hearts.”

Her family, however, is helping to look after her children as she continues to regain her strength in hospital

"Our whole family came to help out and to comfort her as well as her children,” her elder sister Laulu said.

The Leota family is among those who rejected the injection during the emergency mass vaccination campaign enforced under the  declared national state of emergency.

According to Laulu her sister as well as her husband and their children were all affected by measles and they were all admitted to the hospital.

However, their children were treated and were well again while the parents had struggled to recover.

Laulu said her brother in law is such a hard-working man and he loves his children as well as his wife.

"He has been a seasonal worker for about 2 years now. He was supposed to leave next month but now he's gone.

"He loved his children very much especially their youngest son who is just four years old.

“He is always asking for him, when we ask him where his father is he would say his father is sleeping.

"He cries at night because he wants to see his dad it's very heart breaking seeing him like this and we are doing everything we can to make sure he is okay."

The ASA Foundation donated a brand new coffin for Paulo and also paid for Taulia's hospital bill as well as her oxygen tank to enable her to attend her husband's burial at home.