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SOS: Child Unable To Walk For 12 Years Cries Out For Support from Well Wishers

By Nathan Eyagu

 

SERERE DISTRICT

Okae lying on his trade mark mat

It’s always joy and smile of every kid to rejoice on the first day he or she takes a step to learn how to walk and play with others but to Joel Okae aged 12 years, it’s an agony and life full of stress.

 

The story of Joel Okae is a painful one as he has spent more than ten years lying on an old weaved papyrus mat in their village in Amoru, Kagwara town council, Kasilo County in Serere district.

 

Joel is a second born in a family of 5, the only son to his parents whose dream of becoming a doctor paused along the way after unknown illness left his legs and hands disabled but with a great brain.

 

According to Michael Emele, the biological father, Joel was born a normal child but an unknown illness suddenly attacked him that later left him disabled till today.

Michael Emele, Okae’s father says they have exhausted all their resources trying to treat their son

” As loving parents we have spent all we had got out of agriculture to try and rescue the situation and have our son get better again but it didn’t yield any results, we moved up to Mbale city but nothing changed, today Joel is 12 years old, the only thing he does is lie on the mat and only gets to be changed from one position to another once he gets tired, I feel pity for my son and I call upon well wishers to help us with a good wheelchair and basic needs for Joel,” he explained as tears rolled down his cheeks.

 

Agnes Aramo, the mother to Joel narrated that her joy of having a son turned into agony after the illness attacked their son, spent all they had as they only survive on farming and at times fishing which later also got difficult after the authorities passed out tough rules on use of illegal fishing gear, as a result, Joel’s father ceased fishing and the family now looks at farming.

 

“Most times when we leave for the farm, we have to leave him behind with the young ones as he can’t move but when he wants to turn on the other side, one of us gets home to do it for him, even taking him to the hospital is so hard, he is so heavy, wish we could get him a wheel bicycle so that it would be easy to push him along to different places too,” she said with a sad voice.

 

Efforts to get Joel a wheel chair haven’t been easy, recently an organization in Soroti city that supports persons with disabilities reached out to Joel to take him measurements so that he gets a wheel chair but the type of wheel chair he needed wasn’t available.

 

” I moved with Joel to OJ Care Foundation with hopes of getting him a wheel chair but the chairs that were there were not suitable and comfortable for him to use according to the doctor, we pray that he gets a good one for himself,” Joel’s father said.

 

While talking to this website, Joel Okae whose tears rolled out of his eyes as he also has unknown disease in his eyes said that he will be grateful if he gets a wheel chair and other basic support like mattress, food stuff and others.

 

“When I see myself, I wish I could be a doctor but how will I be at school without a wheel chair and also my hands can’t hold anything yet I always see other children playing, they write on the ground with their hands holding sticks, I also admire having a bull so that I can look at it as my own,” he explained.

 

The general secretary LC1 of Amoru village where Joel is a resident told this website that the family is living in a state of agony looking at what they are going through.

 

“Joel is a disciplined child, he greets people and has respect, it’s not his will to be in the state he is today but it happened that way, I appeal to all well wishers to come in and support this boy so that he can also use the wheel chair to move to different places around the village,” he added.

 

Meanwhile, Bernard Odikor, the LC3 of Kagwara town council who shared a video clip of Joel on social media which later got shared by different people said that the family has battled a lot so see through that their son gets the best in life.

 

He also added that as a leader, he wishes to have assisted the family but he is not able to as his finance is not enough thus calling out to well wishers to help support Joel in whatever way they can.

 

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