The parents and family of a 12-year-old boy from Rustenburg in the North West were plunged into mourning after he died suddenly earlier this month due to a blood clot through his lung.
Phillip van der Merwe was a learner at Vastrap Primary School.
He died on 22 March in the casualty unit of the Job Shimankana Tabane Hospital in Rustenburg.
Phillip’s loved ones said goodbye to him at the Uncaged church on Wednesday and at the consolation service he was greeted with balloons and the roaring engines of numerous motorbikes, among other things.
Funeral-goers were colorfully dressed and some wore shirts with superheroes on them – just as Phillip would have liked. A party was held for him after the service, complete with goodies and a pancake tower with a Spiderman toy on it.
A “last birthday party” for their darling child.
His mother, Tanya, explains that Phillip injured his leg earlier in March while playing soccer with friends.
His father, Flip, took him to the doctor on March 13 after he started feeling ill and he was admitted to hospital the same day. Tests confirmed that he had inflammation, but also blood clots, in his legs.
He was treated for it, but also had an allergic reaction to some of the medication.
Phillip, who lived with his father in Rustenburg, was discharged from hospital on 19 March, after which he recuperated for a few days with his grandmother, Tersia Theunissen.
Phillip’s mother lives and works in Hartbeespoort and she had to return to work after a week by her son’s hospital bed. His grandmother would take him back to the hospital on March 22 where further tests would be done.
However, Phillip collapsed again on that day and he was admitted to the hospital’s casualty unit. Flip called Tanya to the hospital and said things didn’t look good.
He passed away before Tanya could get to the hospital.
“I prayed on the way and asked the Lord to please just give me a chance for my child goodbye say. When we arrived, Phillip was already gone – forever. The Lord came to get my baby,” she told Rhewal.
His death leaves an enormous void.
Tanya describes Phillip as her “silly, naughty baby bum”; A friendly child who could cheer you up when you felt “down”.
“Look, this child of mine was also a mouthful, no one could walk over him,” she says.
“He loved superheroes and tricks in the pool. If he jumped on the trampoline, my nerves were done. He loved his family so much – from everywhere to here in Hartbeespoort.”
Tanya says her child really had a big effect on so many people’s lives.
“We can only thank the Lord for this blessing of a person who was only lent to us for 12 years, seven months and 13 days.
“Your eyes, smile, naughty goats will be so missed. Rest gently at Jesus’ feet. You are one of his most beautiful angels.”
Among other things, Phillip leaves behind a younger sister, Amoré, and an older brother, Pieter, whom he loved very much, could tease a lot and play with.
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