“He was born with Spina Bifida and is hemiplegic”
Lucas is a 15 year old boy living in Hanukkah Children’s home in Ghana (Sunyani). This children’s home was founded 15 years ago by a Dutch woman named Mariette and her Ghanese husband Moses. About 45 children currently live in the home, both with and without physical and/or mental disabilities. Since a couple of years the foundation’s Circle of Life School is also located across from the children’s home.
Lucas was one of the first children to be taken in at the Hanukkah Children’s home, he was three weeks old at that time. He was born with Spina Bifida, is hemiplegic and was cast away from his family for this reason. Lucas has grown up to be an intelligent, social young man, who goes to school and has been physically fine all those years. Unfortunately, he started suffering from severe pressure injuries a couple of months ago, that also got infected. Medical care in Ghana is not up to the same standards as what we are used to in the Netherlands and as a consequence the infection managed to reach the bone. As a result his leg and a part of his hip joint had to be amputated. This is a very impactful surgery, that unfortunately for Lucas came with several medical complications that affect him till this day. Two weeks ago Lucas was admitted to an orthopedic center, where he will rehabilitate from the amputation amongst people in similar situations.
“The doctors advised making use of a Vicair Adjuster O2 wheelchair cushion”
When Lucas’s surgery was being prepared, doctors from the Netherlands contributed to the procedure and the care that would be necessary afterwards. In order to make Lucas as comfortable as possible after his amputation, they advised making use of a Vicair Adjuster O2 wheelchair cushion. However, the availability of medical aids in Ghana is very limited.
I got into contact with Mark Smit from Vicair, who indicated that a donation of several wheelchair cushions would be possible. I was really pleasantly surprised by this! Mark was very clear in his communication and was able to help us very quickly. He tried to think along and really felt involved in the case, for which I am very grateful.
“Lucas can sit up straight again and we are minimizing the risk of pressure injuries”
For Lucas this meant that he would be able to sit up straight in his wheelchair after his amputation. Due to the cushion, Lucas his body weight is properly distributed, hopefully minimizing the chance of new pressure injuries. At the moment Lucas can only sit for short periods of time in his wheelchair, but we hope that he can use it all day after he has recovered from the amputation. So that he will be able to go back to school and start doing other activities again.
More about the Hanukkah Chidren’s Home
Both the Hanukkah Children’s home and the Circle of Life School are being run completely based on donations. The financial resources of the foundation are limited. The surgery that Lucas needed to undergo and the intensive care that were needed in the weeks before and after the surgery in the hospital, and currently the rehabilitation in the orthopedic center have taken up a huge share of the foundation’s yearly budget. That’s why we were very happy that Vicair was willing to donate wheelchair cushions that we can use for Lucas, but also for other children that make use of a wheelchair. Thank you ever so much!
You can read more about the foundation ‘Stichting Mariëtte’s Child Care’ here: www.mchildcare.nl
Read more about Lucas here: https://mchildcare.nl/lucas-voor-het-eerst-weer-in-rolstoel/
(*These websites are only in Dutch).