It was the day he was supposed to catch a flight back home to see his parents.
But on July 16 Gurvinder Singh, who preferred to be called Garry Gill, was in Auckland Hospital fighting for his life and his father was on a flight from India to say goodbye to his dying son.
The 20-year old chef, an Indian national, died from pneumonia three days later, his cousin Gagandeep Singh said. His father Gurmeet Singh said he had spoken to his only child a week before he died. “He told us he had a bit of a cold and his throat was hurting. We told him to go see a doctor.”
Gill’s friend Sandeep Singh lived with him in his Auckland CBD home and said his flat mate had run a high fever for about two days and developed a persistent cough on July 12.
Gill went to see the doctor who prescribed medicine and told him to come back if his health did not improve, he said.
“Two days later he started coughing up blood, so we took him to Auckland Hospital.”
After three hours of being in the hospital his oxygen levels started dropping and the doctors decided to put him on the ventilator, Sandeep Singh said. On July 15, the hospital staff contacted Gill’s family in India informing them his condition was serious. “We organised an emergency visa for his father and he was here the next day,” he said.
Gurmeet Singh said his wife could not come because she did not have a passport.
The father said he was waiting for some “paperwork” to be completed so his son’s body could be taken back to India.
“His mother is waiting for him. Please do something so I can take him back. My only child is gone.”
Gill came to New Zealand in 2015 for a cookery course from the Institute of Applied Learning School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Henderson, west Auckland. He graduated earlier this year.
Gagandeep Singh, who also lived in Auckland, said the Indian High Commission in New Zealand has paid for funeral expenses and sending his body back to India.
“I am still coming to grips with the grief of losing him. I would need to get over that first, to tell you how much I miss him.”
Those interested in supporting Gill’s family can contact Gaganeep Singh on 021 082 79534.