Patricia Ochola Erik, a first-year student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Arts with Education at Makerere University’s College of Education and External Studies, was tragically discovered lifeless in her room at one of the university halls of residence yesterday.
Hailing from Otuke District and the daughter of retired police officer Christ Otim Erik, Patricia was eagerly anticipating her end-of-second semester exams scheduled for the coming week.
The circumstances surrounding her death have given rise to conflicting accounts, with some sources, opting for anonymity, stating that she was found deceased in her room at Africa Hall.
In contrast, university management has suggested that she passed away upon arrival at the university hospital.
The university is currently awaiting a postmortem report from Mulago Hospital to establish the precise cause of Patricia’s untimely demise.
Residents at Africa Hall, including Ms. Sharifah Kiranda, shared their shock at learning about Patricia’s death. Ms. Kiranda mentioned that Patricia had epilepsy, speculating that it might have played a role in her passing.
A fellow resident, who chose not to be named, recounted the morning’s events, noting, “I heard from students that her roommates also learned about it in the morning after they had tried to wake her up.
When her roommates saw her condition, they immediately called their colleagues and warden who also called the ambulance to take her to the university hospital but she had already died.”
Ms. Grace Nalugya Kabuye, the Warden of Africa Hall, acknowledged the history of epilepsy in Patricia’s family and expressed condolences in a letter to students. The Dean of Students, Ms. Winifred Kabumbuli, remembered Patricia as an industrious and active student who served as the coordinator of her literature class.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, mourned the loss of a promising leader, emphasizing the profound impact of Patricia’s passing on the university community.
Guild President Mr. Robert Maseruka extended condolences to both the students’ fraternity and Patricia’s family, acknowledging the challenging circumstances surrounding her demise.
The news also reached Joel Awitong Olang Erik, the clan chief and uncle of the deceased, who expressed deep sadness and described Patricia as someone without apparent problems.
The family is now making arrangements to transport Patricia’s body from Mulago Hospital to Barjobi sub-county in Otuke District for the final farewell.
As Makerere University comes to terms with the loss of Patricia Ochola Erik, the entire community joins in grieving for the promising young student whose potential was cut short too soon.