Thursday, October 11, 2012

Annie* goes home

 Annie* left her home in the Transkei and came to Randfontein early in the new millenium to join her husband.
 For a short while things were fine but then she suddenly became ill and became paralysed from the neck down. Unable to cope with his wife's sudden disability, her husband abandoned her and left her to fend for herself.
 "We found her living in a shack in Bekkersdal in 2003," says Mzi Tshikitsha, Carry Ministry, Programme Manager. "She became one of our Home-based Care patients but, whenever we visited her, we'd either find her alone or one of her daughters had bunked school to care for her.
 "All Annie wanted was go back home so she could be with her family and we set the wheels in motion to make that possible," says Mzi.
 "We contacted her family in the Transkei, who couldn't believe she was still alive but were eager to have her back but, as is often the case, finding the money needed to get her home, was a problem. Her family are not wealthy people and could not help, so we decided to approach her husband to see if he would contribute, which he did.
 "We gathered all her possessions, and loaded her and them into a car, and, on a Sunday morning, four of us accompanied Annie on the 1 400km (approx 860 mile) journey. Because we had to take it slow and easy, we only reached her village the following day at about 15h00," he says.
 "It was a day no-one will ever forget. News had spread and the entire village was waiting to greet and welcome Annie. People were crying and singing and then they all gathered and prayed for her.
 "It was incredibly moving and emotional," says Mzi. "We've kept in contact and, although she is still disabled, she is happy."

* Not her real name.

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