New wheelchair donated to granny

2016-01-27 06:00
SUSAN SCHALK enjoying the ride in her new wheelchair. Photo: Supplied

SUSAN SCHALK enjoying the ride in her new wheelchair. Photo: Supplied

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THE pleas of Susan Keabetswe Schalk (62) did not fall on deaf ears when she asked for a donation of a wheelchair and assistance with nappies and urine bags.

She approached Express Northern Cape in November 2015 and expressed her frustrations as a wheelchair-bound mother and grandmother.

A good Samaritan, Dion van Dyk, manager at DVD Engineering Services in Kuruman, read the article and took it upon himself to assist Schalk.

Van Dyk paid Schalk a visit to assess the situation, and her worn-out wheelchair was exchanged for an almost new, larger model. Many other items that she needed were also donated.

Schalk touched the heart of many when she told of how embarrassed she had felt when she ran out of nappies and urine bags, leading to her using towels that she had to wash. She would also wash the catheters to reuse during desperate times. She had to buy nappies and urinary catheter tubes with her pension money and the help of her children.

“Because of my body weight it is also a struggle to get the right size catheter tubes from the pharmacy,” Schalk had said.

Van Dyk says he was encouraged to assist Susan from his own life experience, as his left leg is amputated below the knee. He emphasised how he had felt the urge to assist, as he was someone who understood how it felt to be in a worn-out wheelchair.

He says he was bedridden for a year after he and his son had been involved in a motorcycle accident on the Daniëlskuil road in 2006.

According to Van Dyk, he and his family take joy in helping the needy, but his motto is to “only help people that want to help themselves”.

“I had been wheelchair-bound for about seven years before I started walking with a prosthesis. To be in a position where you have to look other people in the eye and ask for help would be understood only by someone who has been in that position,” he added. “I just thought of how difficult it must be for Susan, as she needed her own transport, with the wheelchair, to the clinic. Many elderly people don’t get any assistance from their children. Luckily this is not the case with Susan.”

He applauded Schalk’s family for impressing his own family with the good relationship they portrayed with their mother. “Her children and grandchildren have proved to be very helpfull regarding her needs.”

Schalk bubbled over about how Van Dyk’s visit had changed her life for the better. “I could see on the first day he arrived at my doorstep that he was a godsendstet - Pharos sê dis onderkas. . He came with a goodie basket to spoil me. He also gave me toiletry including towels and nappies. I am so grateful to him and wish God can give him more,” said Schalk.

Expressing his soft spot for handicapped people, especially amputees and those that are wheelchair-bound, Van Dyk revealed that this was the first time he had come across someone with a need such as hers. “I hope to influence other people to give to the needy,” he said.

According to Schalk, she has continued to get visitors since the article had been published and thanked all the different parties who continued to show interest in improving her life.

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