Two days ago my friend Rina (Richard/Dick and Rina are the owners of Topsy and Tipsy, the kittens we're looking after) phoned me to say that Dick had been admitted to hospital in South Africa. He had a severe case of malaria. Malaria is a serious tropical disease which takes from 12 - 28 days to incubate. You may contract in Africa, fly out to South Africa and start to feel ill a few days into your holiday. It apparently incubates on the flight over. It's one thing to get malaria here in Africa where the disease is well-known and where the doctors treat the patients without delay. However, to be ill with malaria in South Africa, where the tropical diseases are not well-known, is positively treacherous.
During the early hours of Wednesday morning, Dick was transferred to ICU. Rina phoned me to tell me this, and asked if I'd phone his company here in Mwadui to let them know they wouldn't be able to board the plane back to Dar on Thursday. (today)
During the day, I spoke to Rina several times. She was very upset and kept breaking down while we spoke. She said that Dick's pallor was very yellow and the doctor told her that his one kidney had stopped functioning. Later that day, they told her that his body was so riddled with parasites, that the medication wasn't having an effect anymore.
When Grant and I awoke this morning, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was sure that because I'd not heard from Rina late last night, he may have improved. An hour later Grant phoned me from work and said he had just heard from a very distraught Rina. Dick had died during the night.
This news has shaken every expat on this site. Although Dick and Rina only arrived in Mwadui during February this year, they were loved by each and every South African and by almost all the Tanzanians who knew them.
A genteel and gentle man, was Richard
And a true English gentleman who adored his wife, Rina
Peace be with you, Richard. And all courage to you, dearest Rina!