LIFE will no longer be the same for a disabled and bedridden elderly man and his visually impaired wife – thanks to timely intervention by the KZN health department.
After hearing recently about the plight of 68-year-old Charles Victor, who suffered a stroke which rendered him immobile in January this year, MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo was so moved that he arranged for a wheelchair to help move him around.
But when the MEC arrived at Victor’s humble home on the first floor of a block of flats at Phoenix Unit 2, he also discovered that the man’s 65 year-old wife Johanna Victor can barely see, and is in dire need of a cataract operation.
Dhlomo made arrangements for Mrs Victor to be transported to McCord’s Eye-Care Hospital for an assessment next Wednesday, which is expected to culminate with a cataract operation.
Mr Victor, whose speech is also impaired, was also seen by Dr Jimmy Mthethwa, Chief Director: Public Health and Non-Communicable Diseases; and Sithembiso Blose, a Deputy Manager in the department’s Disability and Rehabilitation Unit. They will be providing ongoing advice and support to the couple.
All this will provide much relief not only to the elderly couple, but also their unemployed 25-year-old daughter Tanya Victor, who has been playing the role of caregiver to both her parents, under difficult circumstances.
Commenting on the visit, MEC Dhlomo said: “It is very important for the Department of Health to be receptive and to make house visits where there has been a request for help. We’ve come to this Victor family to provide assistance. Mr Victor has a stroke and he’s bed-ridden, and his right and leg are completely. He is immobile and depends on his daughter. We’ve brought him a wheelchair, which will assist him to move a bit in the house. Of course, there’s a challenge because he stays in the top floor, and it is the responsibility of his daughter to pull him down with a wheelchair. We are certain that this help with make a difference in his life.
“We also realised that his wife has a cataract problem, and we are happy to announce that she will be taken to McCord’s hospital, which specialises in eye care, on Wednesday.”
“We’ve been suffering for so long. We’ve been asking for so long, but there’s been no help. And God only knows. I’m very grateful. God is very wonderful, for sending the MEC and his team,” said Mrs Victor.
Her daughter said: “It’s just me, mom and dad here at home. We live alone. I do everything for him. Only God can help us, and today he showed that there’s always a way. This will help me a lot with dad… For the days when we take him to hospital and to move him around here at home. Thank you so much. We used to borrow a wheelchair and have to take it back because the owner is also sick and needs it. It will be much more convenient for him now that he has his own.”