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30 August 2017

Dying in his sleep; the sad story of Ghanaian student on scholarship in Owen University

Every mother’s dream is to see her son, daughter finish school, get a good paying job and start life, a life to change the world he lives in.

For a mother whose son gained scholarship to pursue an MBA course in the Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management, her dreams for her son were even higher, the prospects were greater and the future even brighter.

He was a leader in the making, Eva Amarfio said of her son, Nii Amar Amarfio. For a son who had exhibited leadership traits at the Ridge Church and Legon Presec, where he was the senior prefect and scripture union president respectively, Eva could only be proud of her son.

Such was the gladness in her heart when she called Amar Amarfio in the US early August, had a hearty chat with him one Sunday dawn, asked him about his health, his wellbeing and everything a mother would want to know about her most beloved son who is far away in another country.

Amar Amarfio told her mother he was fine. And indeed he was.  Except the cold weather condition which he was grappling with, his broad smile, his tender care and love for the people he came close to; his love for humanity had endeared him to officials at the Turner Family Center in the US, students and lecturers at the Vanderbilt university.

But Eva Amarfio’s call to her son on early this month would be her last. Her son slept peacefully a day after that call, never to wake up. He was found in his room dead, with no sign of attack.

His mom did not even have the benefit of being informed about her son’s death. She missed a call from a hospital in US and the next thing she saw was the RIP pictures of her son flooded on facebook and other social media networks. Her son was no more!

A family friend in the US, Dinah Quist told Myjoyonline.com Amar Amarfio did not show any sign of sickness.

Amarfio was reported to have had wonderful discussions with friends and roommates before retiring to bed on the fateful night.

According to Dinah Quist, the roommate left the hostel with Amarfio still in bed but that did not trigger any panic reaction because the deceased person did not have any lectures that day.

It was when he returned from school in the evening to see him lying in bed in the same posture he saw him in the morning that it occurred to him that something might have gone wrong.

Hospital authorities have ruled out foul play in the death of Nii Amar Amarfio. Even though a full scale coroner’s report is expected in the next few days, the Ghanaian is believed to have died from seizure.

One of his teachers, Bart Victor, Owen Faculty and Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership, said this of the deceased person.

“As a teacher I enjoy a hard question from a student more than anything else. Nii Amar Amarfio brought me great joy. In our first encounter before classes even started until just a week or so ago, Nii challenged and inspired me. His search to be of service was as profound and passionate as any student I have ever met. In that search, he applied his heart and brilliance in equal measure. We are all at a loss from his tragic early passing. But we are also all better and more committed to our shared mission as the gift of knowing him.”

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