Nong Plalai’s 100-year-old grandmother finally has her wheelchair.
Sopin Rodhom, who made national news over the weekend for watching a century of unimaginable change from the confines of a wood-and-tin shack outside Pattaya, said her one wish left was to have a wheelchair so she could again go to the temple, where she hasn’t visited for 20 years.
On July 22, she got her wish.
Kantapon Sukumalin, an aide to Thailand’s deputy health minister, and Nong Plailai government officials visited the centenarian, bringing her a lightweight wheelchair appropriate for her age, consumer products and cash.
Kantapon said the minister saw a story about Sopin on TV and felt it was an incredible injustice that the Chachoengsao native – one of just 7,000 Thais over the age of 100 – was living alone in such squalid conditions.
In addition to the material assistance, Sopin now get regular medical checkups at home by doctors from Banglamung Hospital. Kantapon said if she needs medical care, it will be provided free by the government.
Finally, Katapon said, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security will build Sopin a small house next to her adopted son’s home nearby.
Her son has repeatedly asked to have her live with him, but she always has declined, saying she never wanted to be a burden on him. But she admitted it gets lonely in the little shack where she’s lived for decades and would like to be closer to family.