The plight of a female amputee as related to African Voice has engendered a wave of sympathy for which the public is invited to share.
Joyce Oluwole simply felt largely unwell and a little suspicious against taking chances. Whatever it was that incensed her to drive to the hospital certainly did not approve the conventional first call to the local General (Medical) Practitioner (GP). Little did she understand on that fateful day of 1st April, 2015, fate was to play a cruel joke on her. Stories abound of people who drive themselves to the hospital and get admitted. That was her case. It didn’t take too long for the severity of her case to drift her into a coma that lasted two months short of a few days. But fate hadn’t done enough. She was soon amputated if she must live, and lose seven fingers too to short circuit the unknown disease that caused her a sepsis (blood poisoning).
However well the medical team of St. Georges’ Hospital, Tooting performed, Joyce’s situation was beyond the best they could and the need for the support of government and the larger society was becoming more imperative. According to the doctors who treated Joyce Oluwole, the cause of this illness is unknown but symptoms pointed to blood poisoning (sepsis of the blood). She spent 9 months in hospital and was finally discharged home on 17th December 2015 to be with her family for Christmas.
However, Joyce said, “going back home was not as sweet as I had excitedly imagined because the house, a 3-bed semidetached, was not suitable as it was for a double amputee, with seven fingers also amputated. I have been sleeping in the living room of my house with no access to the bathroom and bedroom upstairs, and separated from my husband and two children. Fortunately, I can access a small guest toilet near the living room with the help of my husband and carers pushing and positioning the commode.
But I could not have a proper bath or shower. I eventually had an agreement with Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton (one and a half hours from my home) to have a shower there once a week. Besides the need to take my bath in the hospital, I have been in and out of hospital on admission between January 2016 and July 2016 six times because of my wounds which have not completely healed.”
Joyce, a bubbly 61-year old businesswoman, had become severely limited of trade and capability. Sustenance was now largely dependent on the pensions of her 71-year-old husband who must also manage one of two children under the age of ten. Thankful that their accommodation is owned by them, Merton Council sort to help Joyce out by enabling, as best as possible, a comfortable adaptation to life in her home by making plans to have the residence modified to allow her a measure of joy and independence. Plans were made and Council estimates reveal that about £60,000 was needed to carry extension and feature modifications to allow her move from the sitting room to a ground floor bedroom that allowed her access to the call of nature rather than one such arrangement of having a bath once a week at the hospital premises. Merton Council is committed to giving £30,000 towards this costs so far the rest of the funds, another £30,000, is raised to effect the rehabilitation of the residence to suit her adaptation under Council supervision.
Joyce said, “Following my application for the grant, I was informed that Merton Council had approved a £30,000 Disabled Facilities Grant, the limit the Council could provide. The Council commissioned a company to come up with designs and cost estimates. They came up with three options. Options 1 & 2 would only accommodate single beds and I would be required to make a £10,000 contribution to supplement the grant. Those two options are unacceptable because my amputation is a lifetime disability and a single bed will be quite uncomfortable. Option 3 will accommodate a double bed, but the excess contribution is £19,000 and a further £11000 is required for the ramps, door widening and adaptations of the kitchen for independent living. I was informed by the Council that works won’t commence until I show evidence of the extra funds of £30000.”
The challenge to make life worth living at this age challenges the humanity of the benign society we live in that seeks, constantly, to make life well-meaning for anyone disabled. It is perhaps rather complicated for the aged husband who must not be laboured to death after his years of labour and the kid – daughter who will be challenged to understand why her mother need lose these dire features that would have enabled her find motherly fulfilment and parental joys, and why it should be her and her mother’s lot.
Joyce further said, “I am on disability benefit and my husband is on pension credit. We would be unable to raise the supplementary funds, which we are being required to produce. I am on the verge of an emotional breakdown as a result of this stressful situation and I would be eternally grateful for your help in raising the required funds for this extension, which I desperately need. Your financial assistance will give me a better quality of life and I am eternally grateful. Thank you.” This is a call to all who are touched by this very sad turn of life to demonstrate support and goodwill to Joyce and her family if only to make donations to match Merton Council’s offer and commitment to give Joyce hope and a more fulfilling life, and certainly relief to her young and aging family members.
Joyce is on facebook and her link to make donations on gofundme can be found on https://www.gofundme.com/ joyceoluwole.