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Ramona Africa, MOVE bombing’s sole survivor, is ailing, seeking funds

A GoFundMe page has been set up for an ailing Ramona Africa, the last survivor of the city's bombing of MOVE house on Osage Avenue in 1985.

Ramona Africa, the last survivor of the MOVE bombing, has been hospitalized.
Ramona Africa, the last survivor of the MOVE bombing, has been hospitalized.Read moreAndrew Thayer / File Photograph

Ramona Africa, the last survivor of the 1985 bombing of the MOVE house on Osage Avenue, is hospitalized, suffering from health complications from post traumatic stress disorder, according to a GoFundMe page.

On the page, MOVE notifies its "supporters, sympathizers and all those in solidarity with the cause of revolution" that Africa had been hospitalized, her sickness a "direct result of the ongoing war waged on our Move Family by this government." It goes on to say that two other MOVE members died under "suspicious circumstances termed cancer" and that Africa has been similarly diagnosed.

As of Tuesday, the GoFundMe page, created last week, had raised $12,500 of a goal of $40,000, the website said.

It was unclear where she is hospitalized. Spokeswoman Sue Africa said MOVE members would hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday outside its headquarters at 4504 Kingsessing Ave. to talk about Ramona Africa's condition.

Ramona Africa, now about 63, was 30 on May 13, 1985, when she and Michael Moses Ward, 13, then known as Birdie Africa, were the only two survivors of the bombing.

Ward drowned at age 41 in a hot tub on a cruise in the Caribbean.

<< READ MORE:  'Don't shoot no more': How two got out of the MOVE house

Eleven MOVE members, including five children, were killed in the fire that continued to burn after police dropped an explosive from a helicopter onto the MOVE compound in a residential city neighborhood.  Police later said they allowed the fire, which went on to destroy about 61 homes in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood, to burn to end the standoff.

<< Read More: On Osage Avenue, rebuilt homes to rise again from MOVE's ashes

City officials had clashed with MOVE, what's often described as a radical back-to-nature group, since the 1970s. At a standoff at its Powelton Village compound in 1978, Police Officer James J. Ramp was killed and 18 police officers and firefighters were injured.

Nine MOVE members were sent to prison on charges connected with Ramp's death, though no one was identified as the shooter. Debbie Africa left the State Correctional Institution Cambridge Springs in June after 38 years, becoming the first of the MOVE Nine to be released on parole.

Seven years after the Powelton Village standoff, police dropped the bomb on the MOVE house in West Philadelphia. Ramona Africa was the only person charged in the incident and served seven years in prison.

The MOVE Commission issued a report in 1986 stating the city should never have dropped a bomb on an occupied rowhouse.