Namibia: Pensioner Needs Help for Disabled Grandson

13 February 2020

AN elderly woman from Khorixas is seeking assistance to purchase artificial limbs for her grandson who does not have legs.

Elizabeth Nanuses (68) started caring for her late sister's 12-year-old grandson when he was about seven months old. Nanuses said Ricardo Huiseb's mother died when he was three months old, leaving him with his blind grandmother, who also died a few months later.

Ricardo's legs were amputated when he was still a baby.

"When his [Huiseb]'s mother left him with his grandmother, he was wearing socks. As the grandmother was blind, she did not see that the child was wearing socks. The socks became too tight and he developed sores on his legs which became septic. It is only when she detected something smelling foul that she alerted people in the community. By that time it was too late and doctors had to amputate his legs," explained Nanuses.

Huiseb (12) has since been living with Nanuses and her five grandchildren who are also going to school. He is a pupil at the Versteende Woud Primary school, about 400 metres from their house.

He has a wheelchair, but it keeps breaking down, which means other boys sometimes have to carry him to school and back when he gets tired of crawling on his knees.

Sometimes he stays home because he gets tired of walking to school. He also often gets bronchitis because of inhaling dust when crawling.

The Grade 4 pupil is popular in his community, as he amazes people with his soccer skills.

He is a goalkeeper for his school's soccer team.

He sometimes travels with his team to nearby towns like Fransfontein for soccer tournaments.

Nanuses who is a widow, has four children, two of whom are married. She said she relies on her monthly pension and Ricardo's disability grant to take care of the family.

"My children help the family with food and some other necessities, but there is not enough money to buy artificial limbs. I am hoping that some private doctor or individual can help us buy the limbs so that he can live as a normal boy and move around with friends," said Nanuses.

Tsire Tsauseb, chairperson of the Disability Network Forum at Walvis Bay said Ricardo already had artificial limbs a few years ago, but they are no longer useful.

The only orthopedic divisions are at Opuwo and Otjivarongo, but when they visited these two towns, the family was informed that they do not have material.

"There are no funds at the hospitals in the country to buy new material. I am trying to work out the cost of the limbs so that we can see how society can help," he said.

Tsauseb, who is trying to help the family to find a donor, believes that the boy can be an asset to Namibian sports.

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