It has not been an easy Road!
Disability they say can happen at any point in one’s life time. But for Dennis, disability happened right in her mother’s womb.
In 1987, a black medium woman was eager to receive her third born child. She lay on the bed in the maternity wing as she awaited her turn as a number of women screamed around her due to the labor pains. A moment later she also felt the pain and knew that her hour was about to come. She couldn’t wait to see the beautiful baby that she was waiting for the past nine months now.
She heard her name been called, as she fainted.
The next moment she found her self in a different ward. What happened ,why am I here, who brought me? She wondered,
When she looked at her once big rounded stomach, it was flat.
After several minutes of thoughts, a nurse approached her and told her to rest and that her baby was fine.
Where is my baby? she asked in amazement.
Your baby is fine, just rest, the nurse insisted.
But I want to see my baby, its my baby we are talking about here, she exploded.
Your child is in the incubator, but he will be alright, the nurse explained.
From hence forth, Mrs. Phiri realized that there was something wrong with her baby. And for sure, the baby which happened to be a boy had problems. After several months, Mrs. Phiri was discharged from hospital.
As the baby began to grow, he never sat on his own nor learnt to walk or feed himself.
She has lived her rest of her life, bathing, washing, cooking and feeding her child. Her child can not do anything on his own. It is her mother who cleans his mess. Some church organization assisted them with a wheel chair, which Dennis has been using for now over six years. When Dennis gets sick, the mother has to take him to the clinic on her own; it is a lot of hard work.
Two years after the baby was born, another unforgettable thing followed her, her husband whom she so much depended on passed on. With three children, one disabled, life became so hard on her part. Her husband family never helped her in any way. Her children had to drop out of school. The first born started a small business and later on married and moved out of her mother’s house. The second born who is a girl got married to a man who works as a security guard. At one time she went to the village but life became so hard for her and had to return to the city. She did this in order to find another wheel chair and be closer to her son, who looks after her.
I approached Dennis mother last year, but before that I used to pass by and stare at Dennis. I always questioned my self, why was he always on a wheel chair. It was only last year when, when I got the courage to approach him and his mother.
.upon approaching them, Dennis mother explained every thing to me.
Later I spoke to Dennis and at first could hear a thing. Her mother explained to me that he does not speak clearly because his disability has affected him.
One thing that Dennis need is a skill; he is so scared that one day I may die. Said Mrs. Phiri. He always tells me that if I die today who is going to look after me? She spoke while looking at her son, who sat helplessly on a wheel chair.
Although Mrs. Phiri registered Dennis at the center for disability, she has never received anything for her child.
Early this year I approached some church organization that look after and give skills to disabled people, but because they had no transport to pick Dennis to and from home, there was no way, he could start school. The other charity organization I went to, the dormitories for disabled were under ground and the stairs were too swift for Dennis. The sister in charge also complained that there was no one at the moment that could be assisting Dennis to and from class on his wheel chair; it was difficulty to enroll him in the July/ August term
Dennis’s mother and I are still looking for some one or an organization that can help and teach Dennis any skill to help him. Dennis is now 22 years of age.