WEEKS after being diagnosed with lung cancer, pannist and retired teacher Wayne Jagdeo has died.
Jagdeo died on January 5 at his home in Couva, where he was receiving palliative care.
"He passed at 7 pm. He got his last wish and was with his family instead of at an institution," his wife Alicia Jaggasar, lead vocalist of Los Alumnos de San Juan, told Newsday.
Jagdeo, 69, died on the day he got his final pathology report to determine the type of lung cancer he had and whether he would have qualified for an immunotherapy drug that might have been able to give him more time.
"He was in a lot of pain but he was quite aware of what was going on. I guess that was one of the beautiful things about Wayne. He always said, 'Your mind is your greatest asset,' and he maintained that to the end," Jaggasar said.
She said even though the doctors had prescribed morphine for the pain, he didn't want to take it because he wanted his mind to remain clear.
"He may not have been able to have long conversations, but he spoke with a level head. He was able to converse with us (his family), his friends and colleagues. Some of the things they could not remember, he was able to recall."
In October, after he tested positive for covid19, a tumour was discovered on Jagdeo's right lung.
"He went through quarantine, retested and was released. It was during that process that they found the mass. But because of the covid, the lung cancer unit was not able to do anything for him then," Jaggasar had told Newsday in a previous interview.
In December, a biopsy report confirmed that it was lung cancer and that it had spread to his left lung. Because of its advanced stage, chemotherapy and radiation were no longer treatment options.
Jaggasar was still hopeful that he would have qualified for the immunotherapy drug.
"But at the end of the day, when you believe in God you believe this is the way it was supposed to be. At least he is no longer in pain and he is at peace," Jaggasar said.
A former teacher at San Juan North Secondary, Wayne was the father of Maria and Michael Jagdeo.