Bringing hope with wheelchairs

THE seventh PnA wheelchair handover took place last week, with beneficiary, Rodney Hodgkinson, receiving a brand new wheelchair sponsored by PnA owners, Darryl and Gussie Eberhardt.

WHEELCHAIR DRIVE: Rodney Hodgkinson (front, centre) sits in his new wheelchair recently donated to him by PnA. Pictured with Hodgkinson are, from left, PnA mascot Penny, Gussie Eberhardt, PnA manager Elmarie Krause, Frere Hospital occupational therapist, Sibulele Robi and acting Frere Hospital manager Joy Scholl
Picture: MADELEINE CHAPUT

Hodgkinson’s own wheelchair allegedly disappeared from next to his bed at Frere Hospital just over a month ago.

Since then, Hodgkinson, who has not been able to walk independently for the past six years, has made use of a borrowed wheelchair.Hodgkinson has suffered two strokes and also suffers from severe arthritis.

“I’m just happy to have my wheelchair back. It feels like I’m sitting on a pocket of air, its much more comfortable,” an emotional Hodgkinson said.

PnA, in partnership with the Sweethearts Foundation, kicked off Darryl and Gussie Eberhardt’s monthly wheelchair sponsorship in aid of the local community.

Through the collection and recycling of bread tags and bottle tops, the sweethearts foundation buy wheelchairs for people in need across the country.

PnA decided to partner with various hospitals and organisations , including the Frere Hospital, to alleviate the pressure on these organisations.

Each month the Eberhardt’s sponsor one wheelchair to a local patient or person in need, as well as continuing their bread tags and bottle tops collection for the Sweethearts Foundation.

The average waiting list for a wheelchair in South Africa is three months, with 200 patients on the Frere Hospital waiting list.

Frere Hospital donate regularly to the bread tags and bottle tops collection at PnA, with the rest of the East London community joining in and supporting.

“Its wonderful to see the entire community coming together to support this cause,” PnA marketer Heinrich Fuls said.

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