FEEL GOOD FEATURE
Alex, aged 7, is the sweetest boy with an infectious smile! One wouldn’t know he had a severe disability that prevented him from using his legs. Unfortunately, his journey thus far has had many hurdles, which he has faced with an attitude of a champion! There doesn’t seem to be anything that could dim his light!
Alex was born in 2012 to undocumented parents in Limpopo Province, South Africa. It was clear from a young age that he did not have the same locomotive skills as other babies. As Alex grew older, he wasn’t making the progress he should in terms of movement so his mother took him to the community hospital for a professional opinion. Although the diagnosis was unclear- it was obvious that Alex has partial paralysis.
Alex was able to move himself around with the assistance of a mobility walker (pictured below)- otherwise, to get from one point to another, his mother simply carried him. Because of Alex’s lack of documentation due to his parents’ immigration status, he was unable to receive the appropriate treatment for his condition from government clinics and hospitals. ChoiCe Trust became aware of Alex’s case in 2016 from a community based care giver. This information was passed onto our Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) team members Grace Mdaka and Gayle Shikwambana.
Grace and Gayle moved forward by helping Alex with physical therapy and small exercises to improve his condition. They then tackled the task of attaining Alex the correct documentation such as a Birth Certificate so that he could receive the proper medical attention that he needs, not to mention that this documentation is imperative for Alex’s future.
“Alex is such a funny boy and he’s never looked at himself as disabled. He’s just like every other child.” – Grace Mdaka
Apart from gaining documentation- our OVC team felt it vital to organise Alex a wheelchair for mobility. Wheelchairs are frightfully expensive and not readily available in our rural communities, but through Grace and Gayle’s perseverance Alex now has his very own wheelchair donated by Letaba Hospital. This has improved his life tenfold and has also helped his mother who now doesn’t have to carry Alex from one point to another. Alex has gained so much independence since receiving his wheelchair and it’s evident from his face that he could not be happier! As of now, the attainment of Alex’s documents is still in progress, but with the awesome team of ChoiCe Trust workers we have no doubt that they’ll make it happen!