By Millie Bowles| KentOnline
A heartbroken family have described a dad-of-two as “bubbly, outgoing and loving” following his tragic death more than seven months after a car crash.
Emmanuel Gotora, 27, suffered catastrophic injuries when the vehicle he was driving hit a tree in Dane Valley Road, Margate, in January.
He had been criticaly ill in hospital ever since the accident, but his loved ones say “his heart just stopped” on August 18.
His death is a double tragedy for his family, who had laid to rest his 47-year-old mother, Gloria, just eight days before.
Speaking to KentOnline, his sister, Millie Kamba-Gotora, said: “We were very close.
“He was the person who taught me how to ride a bike, cook and tie my shoelaces.
“It has affected the family more than you can imagine, as we just buried our mum.”
Former Folkestone and Margate resident Emmanuel Gotora was a father of two. Picture: Nikki
Having come to England from Zimbabwe in 2005, Emmanuel lived in Folkestone before moving to London and Yorkshire.
The eldest brother of four siblings, he later returned to Kent – initially to Folkestone and then Margate – and was living with his long-term partner in Broadstairs at the time of the crash
Millie added: “Our little brother is having a hard time – he just turned 13.
“Dad hasn’t been coping very well either, losing his wife and then his son.
“It’s terrible – the pain is just too much.”
Millie, 26, described Emmanuel as a “bubbly, outgoing person who always had a smile on his face”.
“Everyone loved him – everyone knew him everywhere he went,” she added.
“He was a big personality; he entered a room and you knew he was there.
“His laugh, his smile – he was big in everything he did.
“Emmanuel would do anything for everyone.
“He had his friend stay with us and looked after him for three years because that’s the sort of person he was.”
Emmanuel’s partner of nine years, Nikki Desborough, 26, shared similar sentiments, adding: “He was loud, had a great sense of humour and loads of friends.
“He was really loving, and the kids adored him.”
The childhood sweethearts first met when Nikki was 16 and Emmanuel 18.
Having moved back to Margate since the incident, Nikki, who is mother to Emmanuel’s two young children, Kiana and Kingsley, said: “When he finished work he would come straight home and the kids’ faces would just light up.
“Everything feels different and empty now.”
Four-year-old Kiana has been affected badly by her dad’s death.
“She’s been having outbursts where she cries and screams ‘I want my daddy, where’s my daddy?’,” Nikki said.
“It’s hard for her to understand.”
Emmanuel – a former Folkestone Academy schoolboy – was rushed to hospital after the crash, which happened at about 10.30pm on January 21.
His is partner said: “We had a row that evening, and then he went off to a party.
“I woke up at 5am to loads of missed calls from his dad, saying he had been in a bad accident.
“I just shot out of bed and got the bus over there.
“Ever since the accident, I’ve been grieving. I was just a mess.
“He was on life support, then he was in a vegetative state.
“Everyone had hoped that he was going to pull through. His injuries were so bad. He hurt his legs, hips, back, neck – just everywhere.”
Millie lives in Wembley, so was able to see her brother at King’s College Hospital regularly.
His parents also visited every weekend, but Nikki found it really difficult to make expensive and long journeys often.
“I couldn’t get childcare and I didn’t want to bring young kids all the way to the hospital,” she said.
“His friends found it hard too.”