Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Old wheelchair = New Commode!
Working in the community without necessary equipment is always as challenge! This week we were challenged by Nassar, a 14 year-old-boy with Muscular Dystrophy who is slowly becoming weaker due to his condition. At our home visit, the parents explained to us that toileting is becoming an issue and they can no longer hold him over the toilet (a hole in the ground). Due to him not holding any weight on his legs anymore, they were simply sitting him on the ground to use the toilet. Knowing that this is a hygienic issue, Moses and I needed to be creative and make a commode for Nassar from supplies around the house. After a few minutes of looking for nails and trees to make something from scratch, we saw an old wheelchair made out of a plastic lawn chair and wheels hanging from the roof of their house. It was broken and not being used by Nassar anymore. After almost an hour of finding the necessary tools to pull it apart and cutting a hole in the middle of it with a Panga (a large knife used for cutting wood), we were able to construct a commode for Nassar to use! It was great to know that something that would have been put in the garbage back home was a useful piece of equipment in the community. The parents were very excited to know that this would prevent them from sitting Nassar on the dirty ground and promote his independence. It showed me that when there is a will, there is a way and this team is incredible at thinking outside of the box!