Olivia and Paul Kim’s Story Featured in Sunday Vision ~ He Was Taken Too Soon

Posted November 21, 2011 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Featured ~ 16,914 views


By Elizabeth Agiro,  SUNDA VISION, UGANDA ~ It is every girl’s dream to meet the man of her dreams and to be swept off her feet. Sometimes, the romance is short lived as for Olivia Kim. Her husband, Paul, was suddenly taken ill and died in May this year. She told Elizabeth Agiro about how she finds the strength to face each new day.

It was on New Year’s Eve in 1998 at Kampala Pentecostal Church now Watoto Church overnight that I met Paul Kim. I had seen him quite a number of times playing the drums, but on this particular night, he introduced himself and asked to see me the next day. I agreed. I surprised myself because I always thought I needed to finish school before seeing anyone seriously. Our friendship hit it off immediately and grew throughout campus – it was grounded in love, honesty and God.

Around 2002, First Love, a gospel outfit that Paul was part of, went on tour in England and while I did not plan it, I followed him to study for two years. I did not have any big brothers when growing up. So, he was like my brother, my mentor and my teacher. Even if we had not got married, he would have still been like a brother to me.

He proposed in January 2006 in London. We got married in December the same year. Somehow I knew he  would be my husband. He kept telling me how special I was, how blessed he was to have me and how different I was from other girls. From an early age, I knew what I wanted in a man. He was God-fearing, passionate about Christ, grounded, honest, loving and cherished me. He always thought that he did not deserve me and when I asked him who else did, he never had an answer. At the same time, he prayed that no one else would take me away from him.

We had been married for only fi ve years. I enjoyed my marriage to Paul as a person, companion, business partner, lover, and teacher. And, I was so sure I was going to enjoy him as a father to our baby Kisha. In 2007, I decided to quit formal employment. Many people did not understand my decision, but Paul did.

He said he would support me in whichever way. I was able to do what I did because of his support. The two of us were a dream team.

Our marriage was open and honest – Paul was real. He did not apologise for his love for me. If he wanted to kiss me in public, he did; if he wanted to hold me, he would. We were able to overcome so much because of trust above all else.

One very positive area in our life was fi nances. We shared everything. If I had sh1,000, I would give him sh500 and remain with sh500. When he had sh10,000, he would give me sh7,000 and remain with sh3,000. That was when we had little. Then God blessed us with more. He trusted me so much, he asked me to be his fi nancial controller. That wowed me because men are usually seen as leaders in the homes. It was a gesture that said: “I will be open”.

Home was an open door. Paul was welcoming and through that, he taught me to be selfl ess and appreciate everyone who walked into our home. To Paul, it was important that if you could place a smile on someone’s face with something small, then so be it.

He was so full of life. Whatever it took to have a wonderful experience, he would do it. We laughed, played, teased each other, fought and made up. He was not confrontational, unlike me. If I wanted to settle something, it would have to be there and then. We were determined every day to make our marriage work. “How can I love you better?” he always asked.

I conceived in September 2010 and found out while on a business trip to China. I spent my fi rst trimester in China. The second trimester was in Uganda and then I travelled to the US at the end of my second trimester. He was to join me in April, which he did. We had Easter together. He began to complain of a headache and fatigue, which was expected because of the long journey and change of weather. The headaches were persistent. So, we rushed to an emergency hospital, where we explained the symptoms, and that he had come from Africa. The doctors straight away suspected that he was suffering from a tropical disease like malaria.

They carried out three to four malaria tests. In the meantime, they started him on quinine which he reacted to with nausea and short breaths. They quarantined us until they were sure we did not have any tropical disease. After two days, he was struggling to breathe on his own. A scan showed a small shadow in his lungs. So, they wheeled us into the intensive care unit for a bioscopy. They said it would take two hours. I asked if he would wake up if they put him on a ventilator and there was silence in the room. After 10 seconds, they said they would induce him into a coma. They warned that it could take days, depending on how he reacted to the ventilator.

Paul was devastated that he walked into the hospital alive and well and he would have to go through so much. I was very emotional, and with raging pregnancy hormones, I cried for 15 minutes. I could not speak. Paul held my hand and told me to be strong for him, for me and for Kisha who was due in three weeks.

His last words were: “My life is in God’s hands.” Paul trusted God all the way. I blew him a kiss and he responded. I was called two hours later and Paul was not the same person I had left. He had about 15 tubes of different medicines going into his body. He was on oxygen, 100%. After so many tests, they had found no tropical diseases. They had also warned me that because of the ventilator, he was prone to infections.

I was not afraid that he would die because we were in the best hospital that deals with respiratory issues.

Because the results were negative for all the tests they had done, a brain scan, a lung puncture and a whole body scan to check for infections were done. At this point, Paul was suffering from severe side effects from some of the medicines.

By this time, they had reduced the oxygen level to 60%. So, he was breathing on his own 40%.

Six days after, another bioscopy was done. I had a meeting with the doctors and told them I was not happy because the medicine was not working and he was not getting better. His kidneys were affected by some of the medicines. He could not even pass urine.

On Friday (a week after checking in), I came in and held his hand. He twitched his eyebrows three times, which gave me hope. So, I went to the doctors and they showed me an x-ray of his lungs. The small dot that appeared before had spread to cover both his lungs and they were black. They explained that when he vomited as a reaction to the quinine, he had inhaled bile which went into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia. The head doctor looked at me straight up and told me Paul had 48 hours to live.

While they now knew what the problem was, there was nothing they could do. Some medicines had affected the muscle tissue which started failing and retaining liquid. I was devastated. I called up anyone I knew to pray for Paul.

His liver was shutting down, the lungs were not working and the heart was not pumping blood well. That day, they said 48 hours were too many; he had only 24 hours to live. On Saturday morning, I was surprised he had made it through.

The doctors asked me to consent to put him on a dialysis machine, which sucks out liquid from the lungs, and I did. I waited in the family room. After 45 minutes, a consultant came for me and asked me to say my goodbyes. I could not enter the room, but stood in the corridor and watched his heart shut down.

By this time, I had learnt how to read the monitor. I did not go in because I wanted the picture of the man I knew to stay on in my mind. The medical staff asked me to kiss him, but I did not see the point.

I walked back into the family room and told God: “If this is your will, then let it be done.” There was an instant peace that came over me. I asked God for three things – that He lets me come back to Uganda and have my child here; that I would be able to travel and bury him and that there would be transport available to bring his body back to Uganda.

I had one goal, to get back home despite the fact that I was 39 weeks pregnant. This was defying all the rules because they do not allow mothers to travel at that stage. I came back home.

Everyone was devastated. If there was a time to trust in God, this was the time. If there was a time when I needed peace, this was it.

I no longer had my best friend to laugh, walk and live with. I was going to give birth to Kisha who would never see her dad. I asked myself so many questions, and one answer rang clear: “You will live because God says so.” God comforted me and reassured me of his love. I am confi dent that God knows the plans he has for me. Didn’t he know that Kisha was coming? That I am still young? Who am I to question Him? I decided to thank Him for the gift of Paul, for the love we shared and Kisha.

Kisha was born on May 12. She is six months old now. She will never see her father, but she has the everpresent love of God. I encourage myself in the Lord every day. I am sure my future is bright and I will continue to do His will. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I am able to trust Him because I choose to do so.

Because of this, I am excited that I will see Paul again when I go home. I think about him all the time, but I do not do it in sorrow. I am able to encourage others. Jesus overcame death and so as Christians, we should not look to death as the heathens but as a means to go home. Paul’s relations are extremely supportive. They are a family made in heaven. They love me and they love Kisha so much. Together as a family, we encourage one another.

God has given Kisha so much favour. I have no doubt that she is going to be a woman of valour. To have loved Paul and be loved by him I feel mandated to spread the love and touch one person that God avails. God provided more than enough. I thank the Ugandan family and people on Facebook, friends and all those who raised money for us. People I knew and even those I did not, contributed in one way or another. Some gave money, others prayer and others still send encouraging messages.

Article Was featured in the Sunday Vision of November 20th. Visit New Vision at: 

Check out the Ugandan Diaspora Community Tribute to Paul Kim:

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.



    am so touched and humbled by this story i dont have words to describe how great a woman you are but golry goes back to the Lord of Heavens who has comforted you and given you strong and good health. continue to trust in him he knows why that was the time for Paul to depart he knows you needed him most at the time you were due for that angel but he wanted him to join him to prepare for your place in heaven where you shall meet again and rejoice forever


    Very sad story indeed. RIP Paul. God bless you his family.


    I am sooo teary by now!! I am sorry Lord, that i could be such a fearful person. @Olivia, I cant say i am proud of you because we dont know each other… but you are such an inspiration!! May the Lord continue being The Lord in your beautiful life, He is an amazing God!! Stay blessed.


    Olivia I really really dont know what to say but glory to God who gives us the strength to endure everything. May He continously strengthen u. Its a trying moment but I know he is more than able to do exceedingly abundantly. i pray for inner peace n’ God’s favour upon your life n’ Kishas.

    Hver, pse don’t close up your heart I know one day God will bring abt another beautiful beginning. Paul is irreplaceable in your life. If God brings another ‘Paul’ in your life at a right time,pse………..


    God bless you Olivia u and Kisha


    Indeed a sad story but just trust in God coz he is the one who gives and he is the ine who takes away. He is going to be by your side all through. Be blessed and Kisha


    Olics, i remember you in Mary hill, always a mighty woman, his best plans to prosper you will prevail, his Integrity shall be upon Kisha. Lady of faith, thank you for encouraging us and being a pillar.

    Bless you


    RIP Paul. May your soul rest in peace.
    May your family also live to remember
    the good times you both spend together.

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