Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 August 2016
Last week, president Ernest Bai Koroma and senior ruling party grandees visited the bereaved family of the late presidential aspirant – Mr Moseray Fadika, who died suddenly in hospital in London a week ago.
Speaking to the family and mourners at the family home in Freetown, president Koroma promised the family that, his government and the ruling APC party will take full responsibility for the funeral of the late Mr. Moseray Fadika.
In the last few days, pictures of a grave are being circulated on social media, claiming to be the prepared resting place of the late Mr. Fadika. However, the Imam of the Mandingo mosque at Magazine Cut that Fadika attended, has denied the existence of such a grave, and denounced those spreading this rumour as mischievous.
But tonight, Sierra Leoneans across the world are still in a state of shock over the sudden death in London of Mr. Fadika, and are looking for answers as to the cause of his death.
The remains of 58 year old Mr Fadika were expected to have arrived in Freetown last week, following post mortem examination, but It is now understood that toxicology examination is also being carried out.
As rumours and speculation as to what could have led to his death continue, the official cause of death will not be known until all aspects of the post mortem examination including toxicology, are completed.
However in the meantime, several possibilities are being widely discussed on social media as to the cause of death.
Many people believe foul play could have been involved. Others say that he may have died as a result of internal injuries sustained during a violent attack, which allegedly took place at Mile 91, in Freetown, about 3 months ago. But the Moseray Fadika communications team had debunked all allegations of a violent attack on Mr Fadika.
Another possibility which pathologists will be interested in, is whether Moseray Fadika was suffering from a long term health condition, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease, which could have led to a stroke or heart attack.
Although the possibility of foul play can only be ruled out by the ongoing toxicology investigation in London, a close study of video clips made just minutes before Mr. Fadika fell ill at his campaign event in London, shows that he was unlikely to have suffered a heart attack. He was not clutching his chest or sweating profusely, as is expected in cases of heart attack.
Furthermore, analysis of several photos which were taken at the event in London on that fateful Sunday afternoon, have been compared with photos taken about five months ago. The result is striking and shows significant facial changes and a gradual decline, which could sadly signify that he may have suffered a stroke.
Also, videos clips made on Sunday, 7th of August, 2016, immediately before he took ill have been compared with the video recorded at the Commonwealth award ceremony in London a few months ago (Photo). Again the result is striking. Fadika’s health appears to have gradually deteriorated, as he looked somewhat unsteady on his feet.
On the 14th of April 2016, Mr Fadika wrote this on his Facebook Page: “Dear Friends, my grave apologies for only updating you now. I have a lot to catch up with here. I was very exhausted and needed some time to rest for a few days.” (This photo appears to show that Mr. Fadika may have suffered a stroke minutes before death).
A stroke is a change in the circulation in the brain, which can be due to blockage or bleeding of a blood vessel in the brain.
A blocked blood vessel could be caused by raised cholesterol, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake. The waxy cholesterol substance gradually lines the inner part of the blood vessels, until it finally cuts off or restricts blood supply to the rest of the brain, resulting in death of the brain cells or stroke.
An irregular heart beat may also cause a blood clot, which could block an artery in the brain.
This brain attack or stroke can occur gradually over a few days or weeks, or it can occur suddenly, leading to mild or severe impairment or death.
Apart from blockage, bleeding in the brain can also occur when a blood vessel bursts open and blood leaks into the rest of the brain.
A person may feel unwell with dizziness and sensation of the room spinning, feeling confused, sometimes with a very severe headache, nausea or vomiting, blurred vision or complete loss of vision in one eye, and weakness in an arm and leg on one side of the body.
Observing the sick person, you may notice a change in speech, slurred or unable to speak, or the voice may be hoarse.
One side of the face droops and the smile is crooked, and the person may complain that they cannot feel anything on that side of the face. If the stroke is gradual and lasting a few weeks, they may drag one leg whilst walking, or are unsteady on their feet, until finally they are struck down by the illness.
What is noticeable about many of the photos and videos of Mr Fadika taken last year, compared to some of those taken recently, is that he appeared to be alert and smiling, and both sides of his face, including the eyes, appear symmetrical.
But photos taken on the day of his death, appear to show that the left eye is bigger than the right, and the left side of the face looks slightly drooped. Watching a video made during the event, his voice appeared strained and hoarse. He seemed unsteady on his feet and had to be assisted with sitting and standing. He was not smiling and seemed vague and slow in his movements. Also studies of video clips made a day or two prior to his death, appear to show that he was unsteady on his feet.
If these video and photo analyses are correct, then there are serious lessons to be learnt, such as ensuring that the sick individual is taken to hospital immediately and to a stroke unit as fast as possible to prevent further catastrophic decline in his health.
Assuming that cause of death is not foul play, the question that needs to be asked is whether Mr Fadika consulted doctors upon his arrival in the UK, as it is likely he would have been feeling quite unwell before his death on Sunday. If he did, doctors could have detected that he was very unwell, and would have referred him to hospital for immediate treatment.
Strokes can be avoided by resting, reducing stress levels and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Stopping smoking is essential as is avoiding weight gain, reducing salt intake and ensuring that blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels are all kept under control. Regular check up of blood pressure and cholesterol levels by a doctor is important.
In Sierra Leone, it is estimated that over 60% of the adult population are suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, high cholesterol, and smoking and alcohol related diseases.
As mentioned earlier, the results of the toxicology tests taking place in London currently are important, so as to ascertain the exact cause of death and to end all rumours and speculation.
However, should the result prove to be suspicious and suggesting that foul play was the likely cause of death, then the London Coroner and the metropolitan police may begin possible criminal investigations.
Whilst supporters and fans of the late Mr Fadika will be frustrated at the delay in returning his body back to Freetown for burial, the family can take immense comfort from the meticulous post mortem and toxicology investigations that are still ongoing in London.
Had he died in Sierra Leone, no one, not even the family would have been any wiser as to the cause of death.
In the meantime, the remains of Mr Fadika are likely to be returned to Freetown, Sierra Leone for burial in the next few days.` It is expected that the ruling APC party will conduct a funeral service fit for a president.