Wheelchair gives new hope

LOCAL occupational and physical therapy patient, Nontozinina Nkomiyakhaba was the most recent beneficiary of a PnA Stationers and Sweethearts Foundation wheelchair handover.

JOINT EFFORT: At the handover are, from left, PnA Stationers owners, Darell and Gussie Eberhardt, PnA mascot, Penny, occupational therapist Lauren Lubbe and wheelchair beneficiary, Nontozinina Nkomiyakhaba Picture: MADELEINE CHAPUT

In partnering with the Sweethearts Foundation last year, owners of PnA Stationers, Darrel and Gussie Eberhardt committed to sponsoring one wheelchair to a needy patient every month and have since had five successful handovers.

Nkomiyakhaba was the sixth recipient to benefit from this strong and sustainable partnership.

After suffering from an illness which left her cognitively and physically impaired, Nkomiyakhaba and her family have been through a challenging journey which saw her unable to sit down and partake in occupational therapy.

Nkomiyakhaba had to undergo extensive physical therapy sessions before she was able to work with an occupational therapist.

People often confuse the two professions, but occupational therapy is primarily focussed on getting the patient to be as independent as possible.

“Nkomiyakhaba’s family have been a phenomenal support throughout her journey and although there is still a long way to go, this wheelchair is going to help her and her family so much,” Frere Hospital occupational therapist Lauren Lubbe said.

“This isn’t just a wheelchair, it’s her life and it is not only giving her mobility, it is also giving her self-dignity back.”

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