WHEN she found out her 6-month-old baby was disabled, the young mom was distraught, but 21 years later no one can be more proud of the young man who has become an inspiration to his fellow learners and teachers at Northern Lights Special School.
Lilian Nyangasya is the proud mother behind Andisiwe (21) who is aspiring to attend university next year, despite his severe disability.
“My son was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia at the age of six months, and I was shocked and wondered why this had happened to my baby. But today I am so proud of where he is in his life, and how hard he works to be successful. He brings me so much joy and makes me very happy,” said Lillian, a single mom of three.
Andisiwe is currently in matric, a top academic achiever and the headboy at Northern Lights School.
Not one to let his disability hold him back, he has his heart set on attending NMMU next year.
For this to be realised he would need a full-time carer who can assist him with daily living and also help him around campus.
Andisiwe’s class teacher, Amy Weitz, says they have faith in him that he would make a success of his studies. “Andisiwe is an excellent scholar, and all his assignments are always on time and all his schoolwork is neatly done. Also, he is always friendly and has a smile on his face, despite all the discomfort he suffers,” said Weitz.
Weitz realizes that it would not be easy for Andisiwe to attend university, but she has faith that his determination and positive attitude will carry him through.
“Due to the nature of his disability, he requires specialised seating to help position him well and prevent further disability and pain. He is a permanent wheelchair user with no control of his arms and therefore cannot propel himself in his wheelchair or write,” explained Wendy Kops, the school’s physiotherapist who works with Andisiwe on a daily basis.
He has no medical aid and has been on a waiting list for a Schantz Osteotomy - for a painful, dislocated hip - since 2008.
“We certainly hope that he would get corrective surgery to enhance his seating and positioning. We are looking for any help medically and to assist financially with sponsoring him a carer for his time at campus,” said Kops.
Andisiwe wants to study either Law or Media Studies, and is hoping to receive a bursary. For more info call the school on 00413651644.