Fundraiser for national footballer injured in traffic accident

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By Neto Baptiste

The family of national footballer Devonte Matthew, in an effort to raise the over $100,000 needed for medical expenses association with a second operation following a vehicular accident in April, will be hosting a family fun day and soccerama on September 15th at the Old Road playing field.

Devonte’s father and a popular figure within the football fraternity here, Wentworth “Fence” Matthew, explained that his son requires a tracheostomy, which is a medical procedure, either temporary or permanent, that involves creating an opening in the neck in order to place a tube into a person’s windpipe.

“We still have some challenges where we have to seek overseas medical attention. The doctor said to us that he is looking at about US $40,000 but the first one [operation] was pretty successful. He had head injuries from the car accident with him and ‘Sharmi’ [Vashami Allen] and that operation was done here but the one involving his throat, they are not equipped to do it here so they recommended we go overseas,” he said. 

Reports were that Devonte and another national footballer and friend, Vashami Allen, were on their way to a popular nightspot in the Freetown area on April 7 when Allen lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road.

Both individuals were hospitalized with Allen discharged from the Mount St. John’s Medical Center (MSJMC) soon after. Matthew, however, spent months at the hospital.

Wentworth appealed to the football fraternity to support the venture as they seek to raise the necessary funds.

“We’re inviting all the clubs starting from Second Division to Premier Division and, as I said, it will be a seven-a-side so we are looking forward to seeing at least two teams from each club. It starts, just like football in the afternoon, so about 4 pm,” he said. 

Kizzy Francis, a close family member, gave a brief synopsis of what will happen on September 15.

“It’s a family fun day affair and so we will have a variety of food, from fish to pork, and we will have popcorn, slushy and hotdogs. We have hamburgers, there will be bounce castle, face painting, drinks and whatever is at a family fun day, we will have it there,” she said.

The event is slated to start at 12 pm on the day in question and will feature live entertainment from the country’s Groovy Soca King, Menace, and other special guests.

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