“When we received the phone call from his workplace, my husband and I rushed to International Hospital Kampala (IHK) where he had been taken for medical attention, however, as soon as he realised we had arrived, he looked at us, wore a smile, and waved as doctors took him to the CT-scan room,” she said.
Shock and grief engulfed the employees of TMA Architects, located on Acacia Place, in Kampala on Wednesday (October 28, 2020), morning when one of their own, Raymond Steven Sekitayira, 33, suddenly collapsed and died minutes after he had entered the office.
Sekitayira was set to be introduced by his fiancée, Joy Nekesa, to her parents on Saturday, October 31, 2020, a ceremony that had been planned to take place in Kira, Wakiso district.
The couple had also arranged to walk down the aisle at Namirembe Cathedral, on November 7, 2020, which is a week after their introduction.
The deceased's mother, Betty Namusisi Walabyeki, told mourners during the requiem service held at St. Andrews Church, Bukoto, on Thursday, that at the time they received the bad news about their son's condition, they were at their home in Kisaasi, a Kampala city suburb in Nakawa division, having tea.
"When we received the phone call from his workplace, my husband and I rushed to International Hospital Kampala (IHK) where he had been taken for medical attention, however, as soon as he realised we had arrived, he looked at us, wore a smile, and waved as doctors took him to the CT-scan room," she said.
She added that, as doctors were doing their best, she pulled out her phone and started calling all her prayer warriors to pray for his son so that God can heal him and reach his long-awaited introduction ceremony and wedding.
"As Patricia, Julie, and others were praying to cancel the devil's bad plans against my son, I also called my husband, medical workers, and my son's workmates who joined me in a ring and prayed together to ensure that he got a second chance but all was in vain!" Namusisi said as tears rolled down her cheeks.
She added that right from his childhood, her son was so promising given the way he used to behave at home, and after his studies.
"I remember one day I was attending a certain burial ceremony, the preacher said in reference to the deceased that, ‘You're not the first to die and you will not be the last,' when I imitated on these words, I developed courage and strength."
"I have cried a lot because I have failed to understand why God decided to put us to such a big test at the time when we were all planning for his light moments," Namusisi lamented as tears rolled down her cheeks.
The deceased's father, David Walabyeki, who is a veterinary officer, told mourners that all his hope was in his departed son.
"After senior six, my son joined Kyambogo University where he pertained a Diploma in architect and later a bachelor's degree at Makerere University. He told how he wanted to pursue a master's with his wife after the wedding, unfortunate he has not lived to see his dream come true," said the father.
"When he passed on, I tried to look into his photo album to select a photo to be used on the order of service, I failed because all his photos looked nice and they could make me cry like a baby," he said.
He also dismissed claims that his son died of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We did the test at IHK and it came out positive, but when we engaged Mulago and Lubaga medical team, through Jovan Ssenyondo, another test was conducted at Makerere University College of Health Sciences and turned out negative," he said.
In addition, the bride-to-be, Joy Nekesa, vowed to remain loyal and a daughter in Raymond's family because before his death, he had linked her to his family.
"I will always pray for him wherever he could be and love him in absence until we meet," she said.
After cross-checking the facts, the hospital handed over the body to the family for burial without any condition.
During his preaching, Rev. Canon Michael Mukhwana, of St. Andrews Church, Bukoto, revealed that God knows why this had to happen.
"Raymond has been a member of our church, and one of the founders of the Chosen Generation's Choir, your life has been so short but you have done a lot that some people would fail to do," he said.
The requiem mass was also attended by, Bishop Emeritus-Wilson Mutebi, who said had been chosen to lead their wedding ceremony at Namirembe Cathedral.
However, some family members linked the deceased's death to the land wrangles.
"We have been in a land battle with some people who wanted to grab our land in the village and Sekitayira has been on the forefront, now that he is dead, we do not know what will befall us next," one of the family members said.