A ‘new’ wheelchair for Jaruwan

Friday, 23 November 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 47 By  Lewis Underwood

Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive 2012, Sponsored by Glencore International and Canadian Jackalope Open

Last week at our monthly rice and milk distribution for poor families with disabled children in the Nong Prue Municipality, Sam, who is head of the project, told us that 16-year old Jaruwan needed to get her wheelchair repaired. We offered to replace it outright, but he said that since it was a high-priced model, and only 2 years old, that replacing the broken parts and wheels would be more than sufficient. So, we went with his call.

Jaruwan, as an infant, was paralyzed from the waist down after a car hit her mom’s 3-wheeled motorbike, while they were out collecting recyclables.

When Sam called me the other night to say that the wheelchair was ready for delivery, he also said he wanted to get it to her right away. After all, without a back-up unit, Jaruwan was stranded and left to her own devices to get around the house.

It was pitch black that night and their house was off the road in the jungle. Even though I had been there before, it would have been hard to find without Sam’s directions and a faint, naked light bulb in front of the house, where family members were anxiously waiting our arrival.

We took the ‘new’ wheelchair inside the house, where Jaruwan was at the time, and as soon as she saw us, in one fluid motion scurried over, hoisted herself into the seat and, just like that, she was mobile again. Her excitement and engaging smile was enough to make our night too.

The timing of this repair was also good for another reason; we learned that evening that she was due to go back to her school for the disabled in Khon Kaen for the start of the new term in two days’ time. Jaruwan is studying computer programming there and after graduation, aspires to come back to Pattaya to work at the Redemptorist Vocational School for the Disabled.

Besides repairing her wheelchair, we also provided a set of spare wheels for her. The total cost for this project was 12,600 baht, which is a pretty good price for the extent of benefit it renders.

If you would like more information about our charity drive and our projects, please visit our website at www.care4kids.info or www.facebook.com/jesterscare.forkids.

Jaruwan quickly settled into her ‘new’ wheelchair. Woody and Jaruwan are holding the set of spare tires for her wheelchair.Jaruwan quickly settled into her ‘new’ wheelchair. Woody and Jaruwan are holding the set of spare tires for her wheelchair.

Even in the relative dark of night, that great smile of Jaruwan’s lights up the room in her refurbished wheelchair.Even in the relative dark of night, that great smile of Jaruwan’s lights up the room in her refurbished wheelchair.

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