Two brothers beat the odds

2014-08-29 00:00

IT’S a heartwarming tale of two Durban brothers who have beaten overwhelming odds to achieve their dreams, and a mother doing her best to ensure it has a happy ending.

Clerrade (22) and Tyronne Sigamoney (24) have been wheelchair-bound since the ages of 13 and 10 respectively with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy — a disorder that only affects men.

“Clerrade is a graphic designer and Tyronne is a lawyer. They are both so positive and so successful in their careers,” said their mother, Claudette Sigamoney.

Tyronne has been on a ventilator since Jan­uary, but Claudette remains positive about his recovery.

He has to be on a home ventilator to help him breathe and stay alive.

“I’ve watched them grow and become stronger as the disorder tried to manifest in them. There are difficult days but they are positive children.”

Claudette, who is a labour lawyer from North Beach, goes to bed every night fearing that her sons have very little time left.

“People with the condition have a limited life span of about 12 to 15 years. It turns the muscles in the body to fibre,” she said.

The brothers, now both in wheelchairs, have never let their disorder stop them from achieving their dreams and both attained diplomas.

Tyronne is studying towards his Masters in law.

In January, Tyronne was placed on a ventilator after suffering respiratory failure. He was admitted to an intensive care ward at Westville Life Hospital and was in a coma for a week.

“I felt that God had given him another chance at life and me another opportunity to embrace him with unconditional love, and cherish and treasure every day with him as best as possible.”

He remained in the ICU for two months under the care of his physician, Dr Nischal Gathiram, who treats both boys free of charge.

“Doctor Gathiram’s constant advice, not only to ­Tyronne but Clerrade too, has encouraged, motivated and inspired the boys,” said Claudette.

She said that her only worry was that her medical aid had not paid for Tyronne’s hospitalisation in ICU and other costs.

“I have not been to work for six months because I want to be at home with my children, but the bills are getting higher and medical aid is not paying. My greatest fear is that one day I will not be able to afford to keep the life support machine on,” she said.

Claudette is planning to hold a fundraiser to create awareness about the disease.

It will be held at the Durban Chamber’s new offices at the Lion Match Office Park, 892 Umgeni Road on October 18.

Tickets cost R500 per couple. For more information or to book call Claudette at 084 351 3322 or e-mail claudette@sigamoney., or contact Sharmala Pillay, the Chamber events co-ordinator, at 031 335 1017 or

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