Mother, son in safe hands

2016-05-25 06:00
THE Van Schalkwyk family under one roof. From the left are Selwyn, Lucy, Sharon and Elsie van Schalkwyk. Both Selwyn and Sharon are disabled and were taken from their previous home after they had been neglected.  Photo: Teboho Setena

THE Van Schalkwyk family under one roof. From the left are Selwyn, Lucy, Sharon and Elsie van Schalkwyk. Both Selwyn and Sharon are disabled and were taken from their previous home after they had been neglected. Photo: Teboho Setena

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THE disabled and blind mother Sharon van Schalkwyk, with her son Selwyn (25), have found reprieve at extended family members in Bloemfontein after being relocated from Bronville in Welkom.

Selwyn is blind and physically disabled. His mother, Sharon (43), is also blind.

They now live with and are cared for full-time by an extended family member, Lucy van Schalkwyk, with the help of other family members in Heidedal.

Sharon and Selwyn were removed from Welkom due to an apparent lack of good care and the effects of starvation. They were found in a dire situation in their previous home in Bronville, with their health situation horrible under their live-in family’s noses.

Their relocation to Bloemfontein, where they are now being cared for by Lucy with the assistance of other family, has seen Sharon and Selwyn improve.

However, the family in Heidedal still struggles to make ends meet, finding the costs to improve Sharon and Selwyn’s life high.

Lucy says they need assistance in essentials that include two wheelchairs, one for Sharon and the other for Selwyn, nappies and groceries, as well as hygiene products. Following the apparent lack of good care at their previous home in Welkom, Sharon and Selwyn’s health and physical condition have deteriorated, leaving them wheelchair-bound.

“Sharon and Selwyn are totally dependent on help for everything,” said Lucy. Both Sharon and her son receive state grants. However, with the ever-increasing cost of living and their current condition of being dependent, the money is not enough to meet their needs.

“There has been a great improvement in their body weight since their arrival. As family, we are doing our utmost best to assist them,” says Lucy. She says they will appreciate any assistance to improve the lives of Sharon and Selwyn.

Sharon and Selwyn were taken to live with their extended family in Bloemfontein in February this year, following media reports of Media24’s Express, Vista and Volksblad. This lead to a public outrage about their heart-breaking situation at their previous residence in Welkom.

Selwyn was admitted to the Bongani Regional Hospital in Welkom where he was treated.

Express reliably learnt that intervention measures are being taken by the Free State Department of Social Development’s disability unit.

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