Sole remaining survivor of MOVE 9 tragedy gravely ill; community seeks funds

Supporters have launched a GoFundMe account.

Cherri Gregg
August 22, 2018 - 2:58 pm
Michael, Consuela,Pam and Sue Africa speak about Ramona Africa's health.

Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio


WEST PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The last remaining survivor of the 1985 MOVE tragedy is gravely ill, and her supporters are asking for help.

"Ramona Africa's health is critical at this point," Sue Africa told reporters Wednesday as she stood outside of a home in West Philadelphia. Several members of the MOVE organization stood alongside her, including Michael Africa, Pam Africa and Consuela Africa, whose two daughters were killed in the bombing. 

"The people must come together to fight with us to ensure she comes through this," said Consuela. She asked the public to help Ramona, who they say has lymphoma and is disabled.

"She cannot walk because she suffered a terrible stroke," Sue continued, "and now her insurance has run out."

Sue said Ramona has insurance through UnitedHealthcare, which only pays for 30 days of treatment. Supporters are looking for more insurance, but say there is a lag time for the new insurance to kick in. While they wait, they say Ramona is regressing and she needs help now.

"They say it could take three to six months," she said. "Mona can't survive three to six months without therapy."

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Supporters launched a GoFundMe account seven days ago. So far, they have raised more than $14,000 of the $40,000 goal. 

"We just need help at this particular time," said Pam.

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The family refused to identify the facility that Ramona is housed in, citing her safety and wellness as a concern. Pam said Ramona took ill two months ago, around the same time Debbie Africa, the first member of the MOVE 9 imprisoned for the death of Philadelphia Police Officer James Ramp, was released.

"We have the best interest of our sister at heart," Pam added. "We have good doctors working with her, as well as our own herbalists helping her."

The family says they will be pressuring the insurance company to provide services. In the meantime, Sue said Ramona remains in good spirits.

"Mona is a survivor — it's in her," she said. "She will survive this and walk away from this and teach around the world."