We still have both wheelchairs and ask the town mayor for contacts to disabled people. Unfortunately he doesn’t need to think a lot.
It will be a long and hard road and accordingly we take the wheelchair with us. The girl lives far outside the village, far off the tarmaced roads. The ride is challenging, especially with the wheelchair on the seat between the driver and passenger. Over stones and branches it goes, it’s very hot and your forehead is burning. As you probably know, riding motorbikes is my job, but even I found it very challenging…and that says a lot. Suddenly a large hut appears on the right hand side, we are there. After a brief greeting the situation becomes clear. The 16 year old girl is severely disabled both mentally and physically. She cannot walk and is very listless. Cambodians are very open with these kinds of things and have no problem with us filming, so that we can properly show this visit, the hand over of the wheel chair and especially their relief. The girl’s movements to date have been limited to her old hammock. The girl is excited and realizes that she is the center of attention, she is close to hyperventilating and we therefore have to wait a while. After a few minutes she becomes calm and we can put her in her new wheelchair. Endru and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kerstin’s uncle Manfred and Storz-Köln (who supply medical equipment) for their assistance in enabling us to give this poor girl and her family the unbelievable, and otherwise impossible to obtain, help and support in improving her mobility.
The second wheelchair and the second pair of crutches remain in Bareebo, the NGO should keep these for an emergency. …see project 33
Bye the way, our telephone call for a used wheelchair proved very successful. Manfred, Kerstin’s uncle is getting us four of them (a thousand thanks to Stortz/Köln and Reha-Activ-Busch/Köln) and our neighbour Achim Wellems another two. Accordingly we know have four at home which we can bring with us on our next trip.
Result: The girl can finally leave her hammock and the house. Of course the radius of the wheelchair is somewhat limited by the Cambodian paddy fields, but it will be the new center of her life and it will certainly improve her quality of life.