Elburgon Stories - Kelvin
(reported by volunteer therapist, Sue)
Kelvin’s mother, Emma, had hired a taxi to travel the one and a half hours to get to our distribution venue.
Emma said that she usually left 12 year old Kelvin with his 70 year old grandmother, while Emma went to work to provide for her family, but the grandmother was now too old to lift Kelvin. When the other children (6 year old Audrey and 5 year old Kifton) were not at school they helped to lift him, but during the day when they were at school Emma now had to hire someone to go and lift Kelvin for his grandmother.
Kelvin was lying on the floor. Emma said he did nothing for himself and couldn’t sit up or feed himself. He had cerebral palsy. I asked Emma to lift him onto one of the plastic chairs. His extensor spasms were so strong the four of us had difficulty holding him in the chair. Emma put him back on the floor.
Suzanne and I thought there was no way that we could seat Kelvin - God had other ideas! Emma was desperate. We decided that we needed to show Emma it wasn’t possible. We got a wheelchair and attached a strong padded pelvic belt. We then cut out a foam seat (with a hacksaw, as the electricity was off). Emma transferred Kelvin into the wheelchair and we positioned him and did up the belt. To our amazement, he quietened down, though still had involuntary movement.
Our reward? A shy smile.
We still had to support Kelvin’s head from going into extension. With the help of Roy (our volunteer ‘techie’), we fashioned an extended backrest by inserting the bottom portions of two crutches into the back canvas and taped them to the back posts. A wide calf panel, found on a buggy, provided the canvas. All done by the light of the gas stove, as the rain poured outside... Another wide padded pelvic belt provided chest support and Kelvin was ready to go!
Emma was so pleased and said she would take Kelvin to church the next day. God had again provided seemingly random materials and ideas to create a solution.