Junior Chung speaks about the pain of losing two daughters
In the past two and a half years, Junior Chung has lost his two youngest children, Junique and J'Quani.
Junique, 19, died from injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle collision on the New Green main road in Manchester in April 2019, while J'Quani, 15, passed away late last year from kidney failure.
"It is not easy for me to lose two daughters in the space of two and a half years," Chung told THE STAR.
Junique, 19, was just four days shy of celebrating her birthday when she died. Chung said she was jovial and enjoyed going to restaurants. They enjoyed cooking meals together.
"I always loved to cook and they [the children] always enjoyed dad's cooking or we would go out for dinner and stuff. She loved birthdays and she was looking forward to her birthday. After she died, we still gave her her birthday party [May 3] because she was looking forward to it," the father said.
Chung said that he still remembers the heart-wrenching phone call that he got from J'Quani the morning Junique died.
"She said 'You know Junique died this morning' and I said 'J'Quani, what you talking about? Where you get that story from?' And she said 'they're afraid to tell you'."
Chung said that after calling other relatives to verify the incident, the reality of the situation brought a wave of emotions, especially as photographs of his deceased daughter and wreckage flooded social media.
At the time of Junique's death, J'Quani was fighting a battle with leukaemia. She had been diagnosed with the cancer while a student of the Santa Cruz Primary and Junior High School. She sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) from a hospital bed, having been diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer which affects the blood cells, and gained a place at Hampton High School.
J'Quani had dreams of becoming a haematologist oncologist paediatrician, but was robbed of that chance after she died in India where she underwent a bone marrow transplant.
"J'Quani was my handbag," Chung told THE STAR.
"She was always in that vehicle. You know when baby growing up and they say 'daddy you ready' and stuff like that?... Whenever she sick, I would always take her to the doctor, even though she has her mother there, but I would always enjoy that part of it," Chung reflected.
The 58-year-old said he deals with the losses by posting photographs of his daughters on his social media profile.
"There is not a minute or a second I don't get a message. People out there are rooting for me and I enjoy that. They give me encouragement and that keeps me going," he told THE STAR.