Wheelchair-bound man needs top-up

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Windhoek

A 41-year-old Otjiwarongo resident, Gustav Kangande – who has been paralysed for 16 years – is appealing for help from the public to buy a motorised wheelchair.

When New Era spoke to the paralysed father of five last week he shared that he was a qualified truck driver who previously transported goods from Namibia to South Africa, but was involved in an accident on May 3, 2000 in South Africa.

“I spent six weeks in the intensive care unit (ICU) after my operation in South Africa and departed for home in my seventh month after the operation,” recollected Kangande.

“I got married in 2001 in a wheelchair and since I was the breadwinner for my family I felt things were not going to be the same, as I was no longer able to provide for my family,” he said. He bitterly recalled his wife’s infidelity, as she started cheating on him and even mothered a child out of wedlock, which had the effect of worsening his medical condition, according to him.

“I started thinking of the situation and with both legs developing sores, especially on the hips, I was up and down to hospitals and was twice in a coma. After that I was no longer in the good books of my wife and decided to file for a divorce in 2007,” he said.

Kangande says now that he is divorced there is no one to assist him push his normal wheelchair even when going to town or anywhere else. He thus needs assistance from good Samaritans so that he can upgrade to a motorised wheelchair, which costs N$70 000 compared to a normal wheelchair that costs between N$8 000 and N$11 000.

“So far I got a donation of N$39 000 but I still need another N$39 000 to buy it,” said the wheelchair-bound Kangande.

Ana-liisa Nekwaya, the head of the rehabilitation unit under the Department of Social Welfare in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, said:  “We don’t really provide financial assistance to people in such cases but we do mobilise such cases. The ministry however  provides normal wheelchairs.”

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