Kebbis Secka: Gambian migrant becomes ‘Italy’s first ever refugee organ donor’

kebbis secka gambian migrant becomes italys first ever refugee organ donor

kebbis secka gambian migrant becomes italys first ever refugee organ donor

Kebbis Secka, known to his friends as Kebba, arrived in Italy on June 25, 2016, accompanied by his cousin Ebrima. He had travelled from Gambia, through Libya and across the Mediterranean. The long journey isn’t known to be easy or painless.

Soon after receiving a permit to stay in Italy and his identity card in the city of Vittoria, Secka decided to sign up to be an organ donor. Unfortunately, his death came much sooner. He passed away on December 13, 2023, as a result of a motorcycle accident.

Kebbis Secka passes on the gift of healthy life to others

The Gambian died at the ripe age of 23. On December 6, he borrowed a bike from a friend and was heading back to his house in Chiaramonte Gulfi. But a car hit him on the way. He spent several days fighting for his life in a hospital in Cannizzaro.

Local Imam Keith Abdelhafid came to the hospital to pray for Secka. “Whoever saves a life, saves the entire world,” the Imam said, noting Secka had become the first-ever refugee organ donor in Italy. The young man’s gesture has helped several lives in the country.

Secka’s liver helped a pregnant woman suffering from a potentially fatal liver condition, while his stomach went to a patient in the north of Italy. His heart helped save a young man in Sicily and his kidneys also helped another person in the same region.

Colleagues collect money to help repatriate Secka’s body to Gambia

Following Secka’s death, his colleagues at the Fo.Co Cooperative in Chiaramonte Gulfi decided to collect money to help repatriate his body to Gambia. Donations from people surpassed their objective of €5,500. The remaining amount is set to be used to support Secka’s family.

His cousin Ebrima remembers that he loved playing football. Part of his job was helping migrants who followed routes similar to the one he had taken years earlier. Secka learned Italian and was popular with his peers. This wish to help seems to have been strong in his life.

About Senior Reporter

With over more than 6 years of writing obituaries for the local paper, Senior Reporter has a uniquely strong voice that shines through in his newest collection of essays and articles, which explores the importance we place on the legacy.

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