Homeless man safe

2016-11-29 11:00
Graham Blyth is currently under the care of a PADCA old age home.

Graham Blyth is currently under the care of a PADCA old age home. (Supplied)

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The mystery of the old man who was reported to be abandoned at Grey’s Hospital with no ID and nowhere to sleep on the night of November 21 has been resolved.

His name is Graham Blyth, he is believed to be 63 years old.

Blyth was a resident of a homeless men’s shelter, The Ark in Peacevale, north-west of Durban.

His cousin, Joanne Olivier, told The Witness that Blyth is originally from Durban and was born with cleft lip and cleft palate (an opening in the lip) and could not talk.

He had undergone many surgeries in his childhood.

His parents and siblings are all dead.

She said another cousin of hers found Blyth roaming the streets and took him in. She later could not look after Blyth and called Joanne.

“I had not seen him since we were teenagers.

“I took him in and looked after him for a little while but I was then diagnosed with cancer and could no longer look after him. That was when I decided to take him to The Ark shelter,” said Olivier.

Anthony Kenny, also a resident at the shelter, said Blyth was brought to the shelter last year in April.

“I looked after him throughout his stay at the shelter, he was never neglected or went on without anything to eat,” said Kenny.

He said Blyth’s health had deteriorated over time and he ended up in a wheelchair and could not do anything for himself.

“I used to bath him, wash his clothes and look out for him. He needed someone to look after him 24/7 and the shelter did not have any facilities to help him,” said Kenny.

He said they had started seeking medical help for Blyth when someone told them to take him to Grey’s Hospital.

“I spoke to a male nurse at Grey’s and told him about Blyth’s situation. He told me to leave him there and they will take care of him.

“I could not sleep for three days worrying about him until a lady called and told us he was at an old age home and well taken care of,” said Kenny.

Social worker and manager at the Pietermaritzburg and District Association for the Care of the Aged (Padca) Jo-Anne Stevens-O’Connor confirmed that Blyth was now under their care and that they would never put him out to the streets.

She said they are in the process of sorting out his personal documents and that Padca remains committed to the care of Blyth and will go the extra mile to help and assist.

“We will do our best to connect him with whatever family he may have and to work with them in determining what is in his best interests,” said Stevens-O’Connor.

Olivier, who has not seen Blyth in a year due to her illness, said she will definitely get in touch with Padca and will go visit Blyth.

“I love him and I know he loves me too because whenever he sees me he gets tears in his eyes,” said Blyth’s cousin.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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