A Lampedusa Survivor Dies in Germany after a Brief Illness

Fidel Kuflom

A Lampedusa Survivor Dies in Germany after a Brief Illness

The happiness was short-lived: After two years Fidel Kuflom 24-year-old from Eritrea found a new home in Wilhelmshaven. Only a few months after his arrival, he died after a brief illness.

Tim Gelewski | nwzonline.de | February 7, 2014

WILHELMSHAVEN seemed to be the end of a long odyssey which ended with a tragedy: In October, the 24-year-old Fidel Kuflom reached from the troubled Eritrea after two years on the run in Germany. After a month in the transit camp Friedland (circle Göttingen), he finally comes to Wilhelmshaven, to speak continuously without German.

Well, about three months later, the young Africans died on Monday, he died at Northwest Hospital Sanderbusch – possibly as a result of his adventurous escape via Sudan and Libya, possibly due to inadequate medical treatment in the months before his arrival in Germany .

"His kidneys have failed, the heart was enlarged," says Henderika de Winter, a neighbor who now tells the story of the young man, who lived last with five other Eritreans in Wilhelmshaven.

He came to  Europe with the ship that capsized off the Italian island of Lampedusa. He had to swim ten kilometers with the survivors of the disaster in the cold water – a possible explanation for the renal damage.

Three weeks ago Fidel's disease began with headaches, stomach pain, he could take no food, spitting blood. After two weeks in a coma, he died now.

This Friday Kuflom is buried in the sand. In addition to some neighbors who helped the refugees in the new country, many refugees from Eritrea are expected to attend with which the young man has befriended.

Software Translation from German