Imagine not having left your home in 20 years! Since Dumazile moved into John Dunn House more than two decades ago, she has not left it once. She is confined to a wheelchair and is unable to stand, which makes it extremely difficult to take her on outings.
At the beginning of this year Dumazile, who loves to sing, joined the JDH choir. Occupational therapist, Felicy Crouch, promised that her that she could participate in the second Inter Home Choir Competition at Muthande Community Centre Lamontville on 16 October.
Two weeks before the event Felicy looked into transport for Dumazile and discovered very few options for wheelchair bound people in Durban. The few that are available were either already booked or the service was unreliable. One shuttle service offered to take her there at a cost but could not return her!
On the day of the competition we managed to transfer Dumazile in and out of the social worker’s car, using a hoist kindly loaned to us by the Issy Geshen Home. The photos show how undignified the process was – but it was worth it when we saw how much Dumazile enjoyed the outing … laughing dancing and singing along with the music. When it was her turn to be taken up onto the stage to perform with the JDH choir, she was a bit overwhelmed, but she joined in a rousing rendition of Shozolozo. Seeing her joy at being with like minded people was just so satisfying!
Special thanks must go to carer Rochelle and activity assistant Namusa for managing her transfers with the hoist. Thanks also to Robyn for providing the car, driving and remaining calm throughout
This experience has really highlighted the lack of transport for severely disabled wheelchair clients – something which needs to be investigated, so that Dumazile and others like her can get out and about and enjoy life.