In a video taken last Saturday, 2-year-old Ezechial Nguemezi is full of joy. His mother and grandmother didn’t know the footage would show part of their last hours together.
Ezechial fell from a third-story window of his family’s apartment in Takoma Park at about 1:30 p.m. last Sunday. Neighbors tried to save him but he later died.
“Ezechial, I don’t what happened. Just see I’m with you, Ezechial. I don’t know what happened,” his distraught grandmother, Marie Ntiwa, said Thursday.
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“He was my companion. He was the one that made me happy, the one we love,” his mother, Alvine Nguemezi, said.
“He was my baby,” she said about her only child. “I don’t have nobody now. I don’t have nobody!”
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Facing unimaginable loss, Ezechial’s mother and grandmother also face possible eviction because of financial trouble related to the COVID-19 pandemic, they said Thursday. Nguemezi lost her food delivery job earlier this year. Her son’s father was deported to Cameroon, according to the child's uncle.
Ezechial, energetic and smart, took the edge off their struggle.
The Montgomery County Renters Alliance is helping them and 30,000 other county residents who are on the cusp of losing their homes.
"It's more than any family should have to bear," said Matt Losak, the Renters Alliance executive director.
“It’s a challenge. I know the city of Takoma Park is working with the landlord to prevent any eviction potential,” Losak said.
Friends are helping Ezechial’s mother and grandmother, and the Renters Alliance is now fundraising to help them.
“Sometimes life becomes too much for anyone to bear. We must help. The Renters Alliance asks everyone in our community to donate whatever you can to relieve some of this family's suffering and grief,” the fundraising page says.
CORRECTION (Oct. 19, 2020, 12:26 p.m.): An earlier version of this story said Ezechial's father had died, according to an interview. An uncle told News4 on Monday the child's father was deported to Cameroon.