Elburgon - 15th July
Here's another story from our distribution in Elburgon, Kenya, sent to us by Suzanne Millwood.
I thought that having been to Kenya before and having worked with adults with physical disabilities, I would feel fairly equipped and prepared for my trip to Elburgon. This couldn’t have been further from the truth! Nothing could have prepared me for meeting Joel, an elderly man living with his sons and nephews. Joel was carried into the centre’s clinic room by one of his sons.
Although not politically correct, the best way to describe Joel was ‘frog-shaped’. His legs were very contracted and he had a limited range of movement in them. Having contracted polio at an early age he used to move around on his hands. However, as he has grown older his upper limb strength has deteriorated and he is now unable to do this and is now totally reliant on his family to carry him wherever he needs to go. This affects every aspect of daily life and has a major impact upon the family. I have never seen a disability quite like that of Joel’s in the UK.
It’s hard to comprehend what life must be like for him yet he is full of hope and joy because of Jesus. Management of disabilities such as Joel’s in Kenya is so different to that we would expect in the UK. It is eye opening to meet such an individual who has received no NHS type treatment yet he isn’t bitter. He is complete in Jesus.
It was an amazing privilege to find a wheelchair and adapt it to meet Joel’s needs. Though still reliant on the family to push him, it means he is no longer carried everywhere. The tilt in the space chair gives him a comfortable position finally. What a huge difference this chair will make in his life. To have played a small part in this is humbling for me.
Coming on this Wheels for the World trip has been eye-opening and will have a lasting impact.