Selwyn’s ‘soul at peace’

2016-07-06 06:00
THE late Selwyn van Schalkwyk (25) and his mother, Sharon, with the extended family who have been caring for them since their rescue from neglect. Selwyn has sadly passed away due to health complications. From the left are Selwyn, Lucy van Schalkwyk, Sharon and Lucy’s mother, Elsie.    Photo: Teboho Setena

THE late Selwyn van Schalkwyk (25) and his mother, Sharon, with the extended family who have been caring for them since their rescue from neglect. Selwyn has sadly passed away due to health complications. From the left are Selwyn, Lucy van Schalkwyk, Sharon and Lucy’s mother, Elsie. Photo: Teboho Setena

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THE unexpected death of the severely disabled young man Selwyn van Schalkwyk has shocked the family.

The deceased was blind and physically disabled.

He died on Wednesday (29/06) after a brave fight against health complications. Selwyn (25) reportedly died of natural causes.

The deceased was the son of Sharon van Schalkwyk, who is also blind. Because of their vulnerability due to being blind and severely disabled, both Selwyn and Sharon were relying entirely on able-bodied family members for care and support.

The late Selwyn and his mother had relocated to Bloemfontein in February this year and had been in the care of members of the extended family of Van Schalkwyk that reside in Heidedal.

They had been moved to Bloemfontein from Bronville in Welkom after being found in miserable conditions due to severe neglect.

Since settling in Bloemfontein, both the deceased and his mother have been cared for by Lucy van Schalkwyk, niece, with the help of family members.

The grief-stricken Lucy said it was devastating for the family that Selwyn had died at a time when he had shown significant recovery from the physical and health complications caused by the severe neglect he and his mother had been subjected to in Welkom.

“His health and physical condition had gradually been improving. His death has shocked us. There was no sign that he was critical in the days before he died,” said Lucy.

Before relocating to Bloemfontein, Selwyn was admitted to the Bongani Regional Hospital in Welkom, where he was treated for a septic infection.

His health was described as “not critical” and he was discharged from the hospital after two days, with great emphasisis that he needed good care.

He was found to have lost considerable weight as a result of severe neglect.

Lucy said, although they were devastated by Selwyn’s death, it was comforting that he had died with dignity and not in horrible conditions.

“We embraced him and his mother. We could not discard them because of their disability. They are human beings just like us and the only difference was disability, which required us to look well after them and give them love.

“Since their arrival, I made it my duty to wake up in the middle of the night to monitor both Selwyn and Sharon, to satisfy myself that they were fine. I believe it was a test by God that we could do something good and have them also enjoy life,” said Lucy.

Lucy has fond memories of Selwyn singing along to the inspiring song “See you again” by American rapper Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth.

“He would sing along when he heard the song on radio or playing in my car. I take courage from the fact that his soul is at peace,” said Lucy.

Selwyn will be buried in Welkom on Saturday (09/07), with proceedings in Bronville.

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