Sierra Leonean died of heart issues, not Coronavirus

Monday, April 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Edmond Bangura, the 22-year-old footballer in Sierra Leone who died on Friday. Photo/PD/FILE

Freetown, Sunday

An autopsy has revealed that Edmond Bangura, a 22-year-old footballer in Sierra Leone, died of an enlarged heart rather than coronavirus.

Goalkeeper Bangura, who played for FC Johansen, died in the early hours on Friday in a Freetown hospital.

There were concerns he had died of coronavirus as it can severely affect those with underlying health conditions, such as asthma which Bangura suffered from.

So far, Sierra Leone has had no confirmed deaths but 30 reported cases of coronavirus.

“The autopsy has been completed and the player had an enlarged heart due to hypertension,” said club president Isha Johansen, who heads the local FA (SLFA).

Johansen asked the SLFA to conduct an inquiry to determine the exact cause of death, with the autopsy having taken place on Saturday. 

“We need to know what exactly took the life of a seemingly-active young footballer up to three-four weeks ago, when he was training with his club,” Johansen had told BBC Sport Africa on Friday.

“A close relative of Edmond informed me that our player passed away in hospital and died of asthma and hypertension.

“This is a very sad day for all of us. He was one of our finest and longest-serving players.”

Bangura was buried on Sunday but with no church ceremony and a maximum of 10 people in attendance as a precautionary measure against the possible spread of the virus.

Sierra Leone is currently undergoing a 14-day curfew which bars people from going out between seven in the morning and nine at night in a bid to control the pandemic.

Bangura’s former team-mates at FC Johansen have signed his goalkeeper gloves, which will be placed in his coffin alongside a football. -BBC

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