Obese gogo a prisoner in her own home

2011-12-01 00:00

A 67-YEAR-OLD Sobantu woman is a prisoner in her own home, lying on the floor because she cannot walk because of her massive body weight.

Ntombifikile Ndima weighs about 300 kg and has spent the last three years on a mattress.

The last time Ndima was mobile, her legs buckled under the weight of her body and she fell, injuring her knees.

“When I was young I was diagnosed with polio and had to use crutches to get around. As the years went by I developed high blood pressure and now I cannot even move or turn around,” said Ndima.

Neighbours occasionally give her a bath and feed her, but they struggle to move her around the cramped one-bedroom house that she shares with her partner.

When Ndima was taken to hospital some years back for medical attention, it took five people to carry her.

“It’s painful to be lying on the floor and not doing my duties as a woman,” she said.

The physical and emotional burden of being confined to a mattress has taken its toll on Ndima, who also suffers from memory loss.

The house was donated by a local business, but she cannot to clean it herself.

Although neighbours have been helping Ndima in making sure that she is fed and cleaned, they cannot take away the pain she is feeling.

In her home yesterday she on a foam mattress on the floor with continental pillows that she uses to balance her body.

Ndima said she would like to be given a second chance to be able to do everything for herself.

Ntombifuthi Ngcobo, a neighbour who helps Ndima, said she frequently cries because of the pain in her legs and because she feels she is a burden on her neighbours.

Henry Spencer of the Suid Afrika Vroue Federasie old age home has visited her Ndima to assess her needs.

Ward councillor Thandi Matiwane said she has exhausted all avenues trying to help Ndima.

“I have been working on getting help for her from Social Development. The premier’s office replied to my letter, but there has been nothing positive from them.”

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