Home Breaking News ‘Selfless’ son, 34, dies in his sleep just days before Christmas

‘Selfless’ son, 34, dies in his sleep just days before Christmas

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Friends and family of a ‘selfless, caring’ man who died suddenly in his sleep last week are frantically trying to raise money for his funeral.

Derek Mwanje, 34, suffered a fatal heart attack in his sleep on December 15.

The much loved West London warehouse assistant had displayed no symptoms of ill health prior to his death, which devastated his Ugandan family.

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Speaking to MyLondon, Derek’s close friend Ankith Pande, 31, said his family have been beside themselves with grief.

He said: “He was my very close friend.

“His father hasn’t been able to sleep since the 15th.

“He had a step mother with two children, they would call him big brother – they’re breaking down every day.”

‘Everywhere I go I’m reminded of him’

Ankith and Derek were best friends

Ankith said he had initially distracted himself from the terrible news by throwing himself into organising Derek’s fundraiser.

However, as he has worked on the project fresh wounds have started to appear.

He said: “Initially I dealt with it well, but doing this fundraiser it’s finally began to sink in and hit me more often. We need the support so it has to be done.

“Everywhere I go I’m reminded of him. I tried to go to the gym to occupy my mind but I used to train him there so it hurts.”

‘There was no warning’

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Dere’s death was tragically sudden

The nature of Derek’s sudden death has led Ankith to relive their last interaction as if on loop.

He explains: “I saw him on the 13th, he called me to wish me Happy Birthday the next day.

“I abruptly ended the call because I was out with my family and he understood.

“The next day I called him at around 11am but by then it was too late, he was gone.

“There was no warning, 90% of people who know him are in shock and the rest are grieving.”

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‘He was a peacemaker’

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Derek’s family want to bury him in Uganda

With Christmas closing in, Derek’s family have been left in a race against time to organise his funeral and wake – an act complicated by the fact he will be buried next to his mother in Uganda.

Ankith said the need for donations has resulted in them asking the public for help.

He said: “His father has been frantically trying to arrange funds from anywhere.

“There will be a wake, that’s what we’re trying to raise money towards. After his funeral, he will be taken back to his home country in Uganda and laid to rest next to his mum.

“He was a selfless caring guy who had no enemies.

“He didn’t even know the word. He was grateful for what he had and found the resources for those that didn’t.

“He was a peacemaker everywhere he went.”

If you would like to donate to Derek’s fundraiser, you can do so here.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/selfless-son-34-dies-sleep-22565177