Inspirational stories from our clients… by Jenna-Lee Field
We have the privilege to work with people from all walks of life every single day and with this comes seeing where people started off when their lives were completely thrown upside down, how they managed to overcome huge obstacles and how they manage to live full lives regardless of their situations!
So when I was asked to write an article regarding ‘Inspiration’ we immediately thought of sharing just a few of their stories and maybe their stories will inspire you as much as it has us!
When I was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in August 2008, my wife and I were expecting our first child together. It was a year of extreme highs and lows to say the least!
The first neurologist that officially diagnosed me with MND gave me 2 to 5 years to live. That night Carla and I sat down and agreed on two things – firstly that we would take each challenge as it comes and not worry too much about what may lie ahead; and secondly that we would live each day for the moment, enjoy life and have fun!
I’m glad to say that now, in 2015, seven years later, I have proved that initial neurologist wrong! Have things always been easy? Hell no!! But I like to think that a positive attitude, combined with weekly physio and hydro therapy have contributed to my continued well being and good mental health. Life is not without challenges – relying on others to cater for your general everyday needs is an adjustment and a loss of privacy – but a necessity that you learn to live with!
After I was diagnosed with MND I realized that I am actually one of the lucky ones – I have a roof over my head, financial independence, a family that love and care for me, and medical aid. There are many terminally ill people in our country that do not have those luxuries. Hence Carla and I decided to launch You & Me versus MND, an NPO raising awareness and funds for people with MND. To date we have raised R300 000 for the Motor Neuron Disease Association of South Africa and this year hope to raise another R250 000. It’s our way of giving back to others in need.
What does the future hold? Who knows!? But with love, faith, hope and happiness we believe anything is possible!!”
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“Thanks for the opportunity to tell my story.
In 2010 at 8am on Christmas eve, I was happily walking through my neighbourhood. All of a sudden I felt a severe pain across my chest and back. Once I managed to get home my family rushed me to the Morningside emergency room.
With no neurologists on call I was transferred to the Millpark trauma ICU. From the time of first experiencing the pain to my arrival at Millpark I had become completely paralysed from the neck down.
I spent a traumatic two and a half weeks in ICU, where I was physically & mentally tested. The only way they could move me was by two people carrying me in a sheet. My love and faith in my Beloved Father carried me throughout the first process of this ordeal.
After my time in ICU I was transferred to Rosebank – Rehabilitation. Upon arrival it was explained to me by my therapists that they would teach me to once again feed myself. They would also endeavour to try help me get back as much of my physical abilities I was blessed with before my stroke. I never expected or thought this would have been possible as I had been confined to a bed for over 3 weeks. I stayed awake the whole night overjoyed about the miracle of potentially walking and being mobile once again, when in reality after the 3 consecutive strokes occurred I never dreamt this was possible.
Through perseverance, hard work, dedication and commitment I was slowly able to start on this hard and long journey back to some sort of normality and independence. None of which would have been possible without fervent prayers and the love and support of family and friends not to mention the relentless pushing from my God sent therapists.
After 5 weeks of 7 hours a day of non stop therapy and rehabilitation I was granted a day off and went home confined to a wheel chair.
I was so excited to be home but the reality of not being 100% mobile and independant suddenly hit me. Not being able to do simple everyday tasks I had taken for granted my whole life were now a challenge.
Ironically I was more than happy to return to rehab and the safety of my hospital bed and therapists. As time went on I was granted more time at home during the occasional weekend.
After 7 weeks of learning how to live again I was finally allowed to return home.
I am eternally grateful to all that have given me the strength and support to pull through this massive ordeal. Thanks to All Mighty God today I am fully independent, walking and driving. I still attend rehab 3 times a week to ensure I am physically fit.
I pray for all suffering humanity that they may be blessed and feel All Mighty Gods love, not matter what…”
– Shirley Lazarou
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“My story is quite simple. Before I suffered from Guillain Barre Syndrome I had never been ill in my 64 years. Within 7 hours I was left paralysed from the neck down. In a way, the suddenness was a blessing, as one does not have the time to reflect on what the uphill battle thereafter entails. My goal is to be in the position I was before the onset of GBS. I want to be able to experience all of the pleasures of life – wine, women & song (not necessarily in that order). I am presently cruising the Med, with difficulty, but am already making advances on this trip. In order to move about the yacht I need to do about 100 stairs daily. At first this was a mission, but now I look forward to this. Even standing underway, one uses the core muscles to counter the roll. All of this adds to the rehabilitation of my aging body. I am now even able to drink a bottle of wine & not be tiddly. I am sure this is due to the muscles slowly re-growing! “
– Peter Gerhard
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