Beating The Ordeal Of Losing A Leg And Arm

31 Aug 2015 09:40am
By Paulus Shiku

WALVIS BAY, 31 AUG (NAMPA) - Losing a leg and arm, especially at a very young age, can be devastating – that is, until the affected person comes to terms with the condition and starts thinking positively.
The saying that disability is not inability makes more sense when a physically challenged person shows that they can achieve anything in life just like any other person.
Such is the case with 16-year-old Benita Johannes from Walvis Bay who was more inspired by her ordeal. Losing her leg and arm after being run over by a train did not shatter her dream and determination of becoming a doctor.
“I want to study and be a doctor after completing Grade 12. I am doing this to help people who are in accidents like myself and everyone in need of medical help,” she says softly while rubbing her eyes as she just woke up.
Speaking to Nampa at her mother’s house in Walvis Bay’s Kuisebmond residential area on Tuesday, the shy and sweet Johannes recounted June 2013 as the worst month of her life.
Johannes had been busy on her mobile phone and was walking on the railway track when she was run over by a train and dragged along the tracks for some distance.
The accident led to the amputation of her left arm and leg, as well as her right foot.
Described by her 41-year-old mother, Hilma Namupala, as a very intelligent and hard working girl, Johannes, who now uses a wheelchair, attends Grade 10 at Duinesig Combined School in Walvis Bay.
Johannes is the youngest of the family and has two older sisters.
“My school environment is perfect for my condition. There are ramps that give me good access to classes and other venues around the school. My classmates, other learners and teachers are very friendly and helpful so I have no problem at school,” she tells this news agency.
After spending almost two years being pushed to school in a wheelchair by her mother and sisters, Johannes was lucky enough to receive an electric scooter from Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna in May this year.
She said the joy of having a scooter motivates her to get up in the morning and go to school on her own.
“It was a really tough situation to see my daughter suffering. What made it even worse is the fact that I am a single mother and unemployed. But I am happy that people helped us, especially with the scooter and a few monetary donations from time to time,” her clearly sad mother said.
On Tuesday, Johannes received a portable toilet, bath seat and bath rail from the Swakop Uranium Foundation.
The portable toilet will be used by Johannes when she goes to the village during school holidays.
Besides this donation, a ramp will be built in front of their home to give Johannes easy access to the house as at the moment, she has to be assisted when entering or leaving the house.
“I am grateful that we have almost everything she needs because of the overwhelming support from the people. We had nothing,” her mother said while receiving the donation.
The chairperson of the Swakop Uranium Foundation, Sadike Nepela dug into his own pocket and pledged more than N.dollars 10 000 to Johannes.
“From this money I will give them an allowance of N.dollars 1 000 a month for the next two years,” Nepela promised.
The family survives from the rent paid by tenants who built shacks in their yard.
As she does not have a father, Johannes also receives the monthly N.dollars 250 social grant for orphans from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare.
Namupala confirmed that Johannes will soon start receiving her monthly N.dollars 1 200 disability grant as she has reached the qualifying age of 16.