Capetonians rally to help family with epilepsy

Pharie Sefali
Siphokazi Rululu and her father, Ayanda Qhara. Photo by Juliette Garms.
Pharie Sefali

People from various parts of Cape Town have rallied to help a Site C family with a disabled teenager who, like her father, has epilepsy.

In June, GroundUp revealed the plight of disabled Khayelitsha 14-year-old Siphokazi Rululu and her father, Ayanda Qhara, who both live with chronic epilepsy. Siphokazi’s mother leaves for work in a restaurant at 6am and returns at 7pm four days a week, leaving Siphokazi’s eight- year-old sister to take care of them.

Since then, 14-year-old Siphokazi Rululu has received a wheelchair from the community and food parcels. The Chaeli Campaign, which focuses on children with disabilities, has also helped the teenager with physiotherapy.

Ann Bullen, a therapist at Chaeli Campaign, said she had shown the family some exercises for Siphokazi and showed a neighbour how to help her walk short distances. The teenager had also been referred to a physiotherapist at Nolungile Clinic, she said.

Children from Khayelitsha and Delft who had joined the Chaeli Campaign Ambassadors programme had visited the family and invited Siphokazi’s younger sister to join the group.

“This group of young people are in the process of raising funds to buy Siphokazi and her family warm blankets and a new paraffin stove that has an automatic cut-off, which will be safer to use especially as both Siphokazi and her dad have epilepsy”, said Bullen.

Qhara said he now had hope for his family’s future.

“Before, we were just a sad family that struggled a lot but now people come and assist us. Sometimes we do not even know the people but they know of us”, said Qhara.

He said he hoped that one day his daughter would walk.

“Before it was a struggle to take my daughter to the clinic because she did not have a wheelchair. And we were not aware that we could go to a clinic for physio.”

“Now we also go to the mall and she gets excited, because before she did not go out much. She loves to be around people and see other children play”, said Qhara.

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TOPICS:  Health

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