WITH close to 200 amputations done every month at Livingstone Hospital, many patients are sent home without walking aids, so yesterday, health workers were overjoyed to receive 40 pairs of crutches and other walking aids from the Amputee Support Group.
Peter Morris of the Amputee Support Group said the main benefactor who donated 20 pairs of new crutches to the hospital was Francois de Selliers, who died on Saturday afternoon.
“Francois was a wonderful support over the years and a very close friend.”
Morris said when De Selliers heard there was a desperate need for Livingstone Hospital amputees to be mobile as soon after surgery as possible, he donated 20 pairs of crutches.
“He has always encouraged both his family and friends, most of whom live in Belgium, to lend financial support to us,” he said.
Morris said the group was excited to hand over De Selliers’s crutches, as well as a further 20 pairs and a number of walking frames to the physiotherapy department of Livingstone Hospital.
Chief physiotherapist for in-patients, Zenobia Thaver, said they were delighted to receive the crutches.
“Last month alone we were treating 182 patients who had amputations,” she said.
“We did not have enough crutches and had to send some home without.”
She said the hospital would immediately teach amputees how to walk with crutches.
Livingstone Hospital board chairman Sheikh Nceba Salamntu said he was delighted by the donations and tough economic times for the hospital made it an opportune time for civil society groups to come forward to assist. The Amputee Support Group will continue collecting crutches, walking aids and prosthetic legs for state patients.
To donate or get involved as a volunteer, or if you are an amputee who needs help, phone Peter Morris on 079-895-0968 or Brian Paddey on 083-2510624.