10-year-old 'looking ahead' after losing mom, dad, granny and dog within days of each other

2018-03-07 14:39
PHOTO: Supplied

PHOTO: Supplied

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Heinrich Schroeder (10) from East London in the Eastern Cape is looking to the future and trying to carry on with his life, says his aunt Elaine Nass.

Heinrich’s parents, Lionel and Maria, died within hours of each other of cancer on 20 and 21 February. But that wasn’t the only tragedy to befall Heinrich.

His beloved dog, Max, died on the same day as his dad. And a week ago, his grandmother Annie Nell (72), passed away on 3 March of a suspected heart attack.

Max, a Rottweiler, is believed to have died of heat exhaustion.

Heinrich still lives in his family home in East London with his aunt Elaine and other family members.

“He’s a strong little boy. He’s carrying on,” Elaine told YOU. Heinrich, a pupil at the primary school Grens, is received counselling once a week facilitated by his school.

Elaine says they’re a close family. “We’re 11 people living together. Lionel, Maria and my mom [Annie] also lived here. I think it can help. We make jokes, though there’s a lot to feel down about.

“And when we’re feeling sad, we try not to cry in front of Hein.”

She says Heinrich sometimes becomes emotional but for the most part he’s coping well in the circumstances.

“He was there when my mom [his grandmother] passed away. Afterwards he sat outside the hospital crying and said, ‘I lost my mom. Then my gran became my new mom and now she’s gone too.’ ”

Heinrich went back to school a while ago but Elaine says shortly after his parents died he was bullied. “Children teased him and said he’s the crying kid, but I think the school handled it well. He hasn’t come home unhappy about something in a while – and I ask him every day,” she says.

Heinrich has two older sisters – one is 23 and the other is 20.

“It was very hard for all of us. I can only imagine how hard it was for him,” Elaine says. “But some of his little friends did write him sympathy notes and told him they were thinking of him.”

Annie’s funeral is Friday afternoon in the NG church Amalinda, East London.

Read more on:    east london

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