‘Words can’t express our grief at losing our beautiful son Sam,’ said Bernie and Sandra Zietlow.
The Zietlows, who both work for Tweed Shire Council, took Sam into their home and hearts soon after his arrival in Australia four years ago. At the press conference they were flanked by their sons Ricky, Kurt and Ryan.
Sam drowned off Cabarita beach on Sunday and his body was found by lifesavers just north of Salt village on Thursday.
‘Sam’s infectious smile, gentle nature and massive capacity to give love were impossible to resist and captivated all who came into contact with him,’ they said.
‘After such a tragic life in Kenya it was inspirational to watch Sam’s dedication to his studies and his love, mastery and pursuit of a professional career in football.
‘Sam’s family here in Australia and his Uncle, Aunt and cousins in Kenya would like to thank everyone involved in the search for our Sam.
The family concluded by saying, ‘A small boy from Kenya, Samuel Mwangi Macharia Zietlow came into our lives and touched the hearts of everyone he met forever.
‘We love you, Sammy.’
Image: Ricky, Ryan, Bernie, Sandra and Kurt Zietlow mourn their adopted son and brother Sam Macharia, who drowned off Cabarita beach last Sunday.