NATION

Stroke-Stricken Granny Is Hero

Despite her lack of mobility, a 62-year-old grandmother has been dubbed a hero after saving her grandchildren. She got them to safety after a breadfruit tree fell on their home.
22 Feb 2016 10:48
Stroke-Stricken Granny Is Hero
Front left: Inia Delai, Abigail Sikiti, Mitieli Balewai. Centre: Seini Malumu, Miliakere Tinai, Marama Toga carries Niumaia Kavoro. Back: Laisiasa Koroibatiki and Maca Toga at their home in Qauia village yesterday.

Despite her lack of mobility, a 62-year-old grandmother has been dubbed a hero after saving her grandchildren. She got them to safety after a breadfruit tree fell on their home.

Marama Kaloleni Toga of Qauia Village suffered from minor stroke. She the story of last Saturday’s events as Tropical Cyclone Winston hit.

Ms Toga was cooking up an early dinner for her grandchildren when the she heard a loud thump on the roof.

Speaking in iTaukei, the Bainikea, Bua woman said: “I will never forget that night. I thought that the winds were going to take us away especially my grandchildren.

“I tried to save my grandchildren  – even if it meant losing my life – I was ready for it – because I couldn’t bear to see my grandchildren getting hurt,” a tearful Ms Toga said.

A widow with seven children and six grandchildren, she lost her husband in 2004. She suffered from a mild stroke in 2014 and has lived all her life in Qauia village.

She was with her 10-month-old, three-year-old and four-year-old grandsons when the incident happen.

“I was preparing a dinner of breadfruit and rourou and then I called my grandchildren to eat.

“But all of a sudden there was loud sound outside and the next thing I know the roof came crushing down.

“The first thing I saw after it happened were the branches and leaves as the force of the wind pushed me off balance.

“I started calling my grandchildren to see if there were okay and they were. I heard my son calling out; his house was badly damaged.

“The boys in the area came running and I in instructed them to take my grandchildren first and not to worry about me. I just wanted them to be safe.

“My other son then came in and told me to get out even though I insisted. I thank the Almighty God for saving my life and my grandchildren because without Him we wouldn’t be sitting here.

“I am glad we’re all safe but unfortunately our house was destroyed,” she said.

Her daughter Maca said she was happy that her mother survived that incident.

Mother and daughter have both described the ordeal as the worst Cyclone ever they had come across.

“I have witnessed Cyclone Bebe but this one is the worst of all Cyclones,” Ms Toga said.

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