A Kenyan man living in Des Moines, Iowa who suffered life-altering injuries after being attacked by a group of teenagers in 2013 has died.
Mike Wasike, 41, passed away earlier this week, family members confirmed to a local news broadcaster on Tuesday.
Wasike was beaten unconscious and left for dead in the middle of a snowy street on February 28, 2013.
Wasike suffered severe injuries, including permanent brain damage. He remained on a feeding tube and was unable to speak for several years.
“I am just going to miss Mike’s smile and talking to him. I’m going to miss him,” said Joan Namachemo, Wasike’s wife.
“If Mike was never hit in his head, if Mike’s brain was never damaged, today we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about Mike,” she added.
After several months in the hospital, Wasike was transferred to a rehab facility in Oklahoma. In 2015, he was moved to a care facility in 2015 where he was staying until his death.
Wasike moved to the United States in 2009 to live with his wife Joan and their two children. He worked as a credit analyst for Wells Fargo prior to the attack.
The three teens involved in the brutal beating were all jailed.
Terrance Cheeks, Jr. was convicted in 2014 on two counts of first-degree robbery in the case.
He received a sentence of 25 years for each count. The sentences will run consecutively meaning he faces 50 years in prison, and is unlikely to be eligible for parole for about 35 years.
Leshaun Murray was convicted of first-degree robbery in the case in 2014. Murray was sentenced to two 25-year sentences in prison to be served consecutively.
The first sentence carried a mandatory minimum sentence, which means he can’t be paroled before the 25-year term is served. The second sentence did not carry a mandatory minimum.
Kenneth Barry agreed in 2014 to a sentence of 20 years with seven years mandatory.
Wasike’s final wish was to be buried in Kenya near his family. His wife prays the community can help her make that happen.
“This has been a long, long, long journey,” Namachemo said.” I don’t know what I would have done without the public with Mike, and please I am just asking for them to stand with me during this time to see Mike off and get him to his final resting place.”
A memorial service will be held Saturday at the Imani Family Church which will be followed by a fundraiser at the church.