Hernando Ack, a standard three student, passed away on New Year’s Day at his home in rural Toledo. The 9-year-old boy suffered varying degrees of burns on Wednesday, November 6 when he ignited a lighter inside an outdoor latrine. The latrine had been doused with gasoline as we hear in the following report from Correspondent Paul Mahung who spoke with the boy’s father.
Voice of Father: “I took my son to the PG Hospital and then the following day they took him to Dangriga hospital so there he spent a month and then they transport him to PG again and then from there I think one day of the week they took him to Dangriga for some surgery on his foot but when they reached the doctor said there was no machine to do that so they transported him to PG at the same night. Then there I wasn’t home, I was at work and then I always call my son – my son always tell me that he wants to come out, he always tell me daddy if you can please come and take me out and then when I reached home now I went on a Friday. The November 29 I discharged my son because I saw he is getting better, the burn was getting better and he was eating good and that’s why the reason I took him out not knowing that he would have gone through this incident that happened that he passed away on the first day of the new year.”
Our correspondent also spoke with the boy’s mother who explained what his medical condition was in the days leading to his death.
Voice of Mother: “During those Christmas holiday and Christmas time he was feeling good but reaching like during almost near the new year he felt some pain in his stomach and he had some weakness I saw on him and I told him that I would take him back to the clinic and he refused, he told me ‘mom just buy some medicine so I can feel well in my stomach.’ So what I did I bought some pepto bismol because he has pain in his stomach and he goes to the bathroom and I see it was watery so I just bought pepto bismol for him and he was okay with that no knowing that he was going to die.”
Paul Mahung, Toledo Correspondent: So he died on the morning of New Year’s Day.
Voice of Mother: “Yes just like that here in Colombia.”
Ack was attending the San Miguel Roman Catholic School and would have turned ten years old on January 19. He was laid to rest on Saturday in Colombia Village, Toledo District.