Joseph - Living with cerebral palsy
I wish you could meet 12 year old Joseph. If you did, the first thing you would notice is his energy and ever bright smile. Underneath, his bright smile is a story of courage and determination. He is the last born in a family of five. Joseph lost his patents by the age of 7, both at a span of two years. Joseph and his siblings were taken in by their 70 year old grandmother. Joseph’s grandmother Njoki is a farmer. But she can’t devote the time needed to work her small piece of land, because she had to take care of Joseph and his four siblings. This meant there was often not enough food to feed the family. The biggest challenge for Njoki was to take care of Joseph who was born with cerebral palsy, a condition you may have heard of that affects movement and co-ordination.
Courage & Determination
Cerebral palsy has many causes — including premature birth or an infection during pregnancy — which damage a baby’s brain and nervous system. Luckily, Joseph’s condition is milled and only affected movement of his left hard and leg which could be repaired through surgical intervention and physiotherapy.
His grandmother narrated to us a long and depressing story, “Joseph’s parents passed on 5 years ago; they left with me 5 children, I am the only one providing for their basic needs and even education. The journey of provision has not been easy, in fact it has been impossible considering my age’ she stated, I have lost 3 children in my family my husband also passed many years ago, the remaining children are also not financially stable, actually they live in Molo, Nakuru county a place where ethnic violence flares up now and then, thus their livelihood is not secure, as at now I live by the mercies of God and well-wishers from the village and sometimes we skip lunch to avoid too much of begging”. She added.
My Prayers were answered
I learned that Joseph had suffered a lot because of his disability. Joseph had a stiff tendon which made him toe walk, making walking nearly impossible. Njoki told me that it used to take Joseph two hours to walk to school every day, and his shoes were wearing out unbearably
When he did arrive at school, he was often so late that he’d miss out on most of the lessons. As a result, Joseph was falling further and further behind in his class. Without an education, he wouldn’t be able to find himself a good job, and live his dream of becoming a doctor.
“My prayers were answered when Joseph’s class teacher called me to school, he referred me to ECRC (Early Childhood Resource Centre) who informed me that I could get help from a Safaricom Mobile clinic at Nakuru level 5 hospital.” Narrated Njoki.
Early morning on the referred day, Njoki and Joseph were the very first patients to be seen at the Clinic. She was informed that Joseph required a tendon repair that would ordinarily cost her KES. 66,000. She narrated her story and the outreach worker enrolled her as part of the children to benefit from Safaricom Foundation surgery sponsorship. It was like from heaven when I got the message that CBM through Safaricom Foundation was able to do this for my children. Now, today Joseph can walk and I am the happiest grandmother. May God help you to continue doing more for others.
After the successful surgery, Joseph was welcomed back in school by other children and he is able to run and play football with other children.