Sunday, April 14, 2024

Family of carjacked man in Iowa raise money to pay medical bills

The medical bills are piling up for a Des Moines family five months after an attack during a carjacking left a man unable to see, talk or walk.

Mike Wasike was the soul bread winner for his family who came to Iowa from Kenya hoping for a better life. He had only been here four years when the attack happened on February 26.

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Wasike suffered severe brain damage.

“I guess my life just ended on that day this happened,” Joan Namachemo, Mike’s wife, told KCCI in May. “It’s sad.”

Wasike’s family is now trying to sell family items and other possessions to pay the mounting medical bills.

“These used to be a rock,” said Chip Peterson of Chip’s Picks Antiques and Flee Market. “They were carved and painted in Kenya.”

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Peterson’s shop is filled the family’s items.

“These are very nice sword fish,” said Peterson.

Among the colorful paintings and figurines sits two pieces of paper that tell the story of Mike Wasike.

“I try to explain to everybody who comes to the door about Mike and Joan and their children,” said Peterson. “Everything that is sold in this room goes to the family.”

Peterson has agreed to sell many of the Wasike family’s African items at his store and to give them 100-percent of the profits from the family’s items.  He is also giving them a portion of profits from other African items that he has for sale.

There are statuettes, hippos, lions — cabinets full of colorful handmade items from the Wasike’s home or sent over from their family members in Kenya.

Each of the items contains Joan’s name on the tag.

“Come and spend some time, look at what’s for sale here,” said Peterson.

Prices on the items range from $2 to $30.

Peterson said Mike’s story has impacted not just his family, but the whole community.

If you want to help you can find all these items at Chip’s Picks Antiques and Flea Market at 2785 Northeast Broadway Avenue in Des Moines.

Mike’s wife told KCCI’s Laura Nichols on Thursday that his condition is about the same. He has permanent brain damage, which means he can’t see, talk and walk.

She is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, looking at a rehabilitation facility for him. He is going to have to leave the hospital soon.

Three teens have been charged in the carjacking case and are in jail awaiting trials.-

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