66. Helen

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The most difficult time for me was when I delivered because I found it difficult to deliver […] At the same time, that was my happiest moment because that was the time I had my first child. I brought somebody to this world. So anytime I remember the day I delivered a baby, I become very happy.


I was not born like this. My mother told me I was about 3 to 4 years when I fell sick. And then through that sickness I became like this. My mother told me I had something like malaria. She also told me it was not only due to the sickness, but I had injection upset. When they injected me it fell on some of my cells. That is called injection upset. That is what they told me. So it has paralyzed my legs. My temperature rose and I fell into coma. I was in coma for three days. And when I was sent to the hospital the doctors tried and tried and tried to revive me, and when I was revived I couldn’t wake up again and so I became like this.

My disability does not affect my education in any way. I can still go to school. I can still go further but it’s due to funds, lack of support for education, that is why I cut my education to that level, or else I would have gone further. It was my desire to go further. It also does not affect any relationship of my family. The only thing is they don’t have the financial support for me. That is the only problem. As for the normal relationship, it’s there. It is their wish to support me to go further but they don’t have the means.

The most difficult time for me was when I delivered because I found it difficult to deliver. And I had to undergo a major operation. In fact, it hurt me a lot. As I am not able to move so that the wounds will heal quickly, it was a very bitter situation for me. At the same time, that was my happiest moment because that was the time I had my first child. I brought somebody to this world. So anytime I remember the day I delivered a baby, I become very happy.

In general, what do you think is the most difficult thing for persons with disabilities in Ghana?

The most difficult barrier for disability is when you have the mind to do something but due to your disability you cannot do that particular thing; that is the most difficult thing that I ever experienced for disability in general. The lack of funds to support my sewing and where to put my machines, that is a workshop or salon, that is the most difficult problem for me now. Because right now I only put my machines on my veranda. And personally, though I’m beautiful, no man is ready to marry me because they don’t want to associate themselves with me. They have the interest to have a relationship with you, but to marry you they will not.

What can we do to help this situation?

Madame, we can only champion our cause through the Disability Needs Foundation so that our voices can be heard. So should there be anything that should come out of that advocacy, we will also benefit from it. Right now we don’t have any means than to channel our cause through it.

What do you say to others who are in a similar situation to yours?

When I meet my fellow disabled people I only console them, advise them, encourage them to take heart that nothing happens behind God. I always put them in my shoes, so I advise them not to be discouraged about life.

What is your best ability?

I do everything that able people do. I wash, I cook, I sweep, I sew. I do everything.


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