Laleni Saini sat at her husband’s hospital bedside, day and night for two weeks, praying he would open his eyes.
But tragically Sorav Saini, a father-of-two, never did.
The 30-year-old timber mill worker died on Thursday after a workplace accident involving machinery at Clelands Timber in New Plymouth on the afternoon of January 25.
“I can’t explain how broken I am,” the grieving widow told NZME.
“All I wanted was for him to live at any cost but God took him away. I am in so much shock.”
Sorav, Clelands’ fingerjointer and optimiser supervisor, became stuck in a machine at the company’s Katere Rd site, Laleni understood.
Hato Hone St John confirmed one ambulance, two rapid response units, one operations manager and one helicopter were called to the scene.
Sorav, father to infant Shon and teenager Ritik, was airlifted to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition.
“For the past two weeks, I sat by his bed day and night, just praying for him to open his eyes,” Laleni recalled.
She was next to him when he died at 4.30am.
Laleni and Sorav married in India in 2020 after meeting in New Zealand in 2014.
He had moved to New Zealand from India in 2014 on a student visa. Once he completed his studies he gained employment and became a citizen.
Laleni said he was a “lovely and honest” man who enjoyed cooking and spending time with his family.
Sorav and Laleni Saini married in 2020.
Sorav would often spend his lunch hour at home so that he could be with his family.
“We were each other’s support.”
He was also a loved friend and colleague, she said.
While Laleni is now preparing for her husband’s funeral on Wednesday, she is unsure what life will look like going forward.
He was their main provider and she has no family support in New Plymouth.
“I don’t know what to do.”
Meanwhile, a WorkSafe spokesperson confirmed an investigation into the incident was launched after WorkSafe was notified on January 25.
“Our work to establish the circumstances is ongoing and no charges have been filed at this early stage,” they said.
Clelands Timber spokeswoman Liz Read said the company was co-operating with WorkSafe and doing everything it could to ensure the safety of its team.
She said Clelands has been in contact with Sorav’s immediate family and support was also being offered to his colleagues.
“You can imagine this is incredibly difficult for everyone.”
Tara Shaskey joined NZME in 2022 as a news director and Open Justice reporter. She has been a reporter since 2014 and previously worked at Stuff where she covered crime and justice, arts and entertainment, and Māori issues.
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