At the end of February, I shared with you all one of the most personal posts yet, a tribute to my Papa.
Many who know me well, will know that it takes a lot for me to share very personal circumstances, but with my Papa, I want the world to know what an incredible man he is and what an amazing and generous Portuguese Community resides in Witbank.
Some content on how the accident has changed my Papa’s life:
- My Papa was the bread winner of the family, even though he was approaching 65 at the time of the accident, he was still very much hands on within the construction work he sourced. Since the accident, just to care for my Papa’s needs alone, has increased my parents monthly expenses by approximately R13 000.00.
- Unfortunately my Papa only has movement in his left arm.
- A Qualified Carer has since been employed to attend to all my Papa’s medical treatments, including specialised hygienic supplies and his day to day care.
- Specific medication for Quadriplegia has to be taken daily to ensure his body can function as normal as possible.
- My Papa cannot just eat & drink whatever he pleases, therefore a specialised diet needs to be followed.
- Daily physiotherapy takes place to ensure blood circulation and muscle movements, this is with the support of rehabilitation equipment which is required to strengthen his body. As much as the physiotherapy is there to assist with my Papa’s recovery, each session is very painful and takes toll on him not only physically but mentally too.
- My Papa is required to see the specialist once a month, he explains the extent of the pain the next day on his body as that of ripped/stretched muscles occurred from an intense physical workout because of all the moving around.
- A custom made wheelchair had to be designed to accommodate my Papa’s injuries and ongoing condition, it is not as simple as choosing a random wheelchair from a supplier. The weight, height, placement of the foot rest, pressure cushion he will sit on for hours etc had to be taken into account.
- Lying in the bed 24/7 has resulted in my Papa not being able to sit in a 90 degree angle for longer than 10 minutes without his blood pressure dropping, feeling nauseous and dizzy spells occurring. This is because of the body does not have any sense of equilibrium. The Tilt table seen below, will now allow my Papa to gradually regain equilibrium so that he can start sitting in his wheel chair for longer periods of time and lead a more “normal” life than he does now.
The above excludes the changes required around my parents home:
- Modifications had to be made to the existing bathroom which included a wheelchair friendly shower and toilet.
- Wheelchair ramp was built to allow access from the outside of the house indoors.
- The standard house door had to be converted to sliding doors with ramps to allow the wheelchair to pass through.
- Physiotherapy area was created with all the rehabilitation equipment donated to ensure ongoing physio daily.
- Different car had to be purchased to accommodate the transfer of my Papa from the wheelchair to the car. Due to the extent of his injuries, he cannot be picked up and just placed in the car, he has to be transferred via a transfer board.
The fundraiser that was held @ the Portuguese Club in Witbank just over a week ago superseded our expectations. The funds raised on the evening, the donations that came in from those that could not attend and the support shown on the evening, has touched mine and my family’s hearts.
Emotions ran high and I struggled to fight back the tears as the Portuguese Community stood and clapped their hands as my Papa cried tears of joy and sadness as he entered the hall.
Many have come to visit my Papa at home while others have admitted to not knowing what to say to him. Its not easy but it does push our boundaries to acknowledge that even the bravest of men face life changing moments. The fundraiser allowed many to speak to my Papa for the first time since the accident.
To each and every person that was present, the difference you made to my Papa’s moral, taking the time out to spend an evening with him, chatting to him… he couldn’t stop talking about it the following day. The funds raised because of your generosity and care for his well being, will forever be remembered.
To each and every person that couldn’t be there but made a donation, thank you, each and every cent goes towards my Papa’s recovery.
With the band playing in the background, many dancing and a successful auction to seal a successful evening, my Papa lay on his new Tilt Bed just taking in the moment, surrounded by those that love & admire him.
In fear of leaving anyone out, I want to say thank you to everyone that had a hand in arranging the fundraiser, from the initial thought to the moment the fundraiser came to an end. Without your caring and considering natures, this would not have been at all possible.
The case against the Road Accident Fund continues and may carry on for another year. We pray that my Papa becomes stronger in body and his determination to regain some movement continues.
Love and blessings to everyone involved in making the fundraiser special for my Papa and for sharing this special evening with the Senhor Jose Lourenco.