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I would like to introduce you to my brother Bradley. He was born at 28 weeks on 5th November 1994. He was a twin and weighed only 1.2kg at birth. Unfortunately, his twin passed away while still in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.
Bradley spent the first 3 months of his life in the Diewilgers Neonatal unit fighting for his life where all his breathing was done by machines. He developed a brain bleed and multiple kidney problems. Later on, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy caused by his traumatic birthing event. Even though all 4 of his limbs are affected and he is confined to a wheelchair, he can to a reasonable extent, use his arms and hands but he needs full assistance for all his daily-life activities as well as daily physical therapy to help stretch and extend his extremely stiff and painful muscles.
Bradley as a child had to endure many difficult and painful surgical procedures due to the conditions developed from being born so very early. As a child, no matter what his challenges were, he was always smiling and later grew up into a young adult with the most wonderful, caring and loving nature. He is not one to complain of pain or his difficult life long conditon.
My parents have always cared for him in their home. He attended a special needs school and completed his matric, which is a great achievement. A year and a half ago it become a necessity to find him a care facility, because my parents are now both over 60, and aside from caring for him which was getting more and more difficult, he was also very lonely not having any real friends or social interactions etc. After visiting multiple homes we found a lovely home in Randburg, called the Anne Harding Cheshire Home with around 40 residents of varying ages. He loves it there, the staff and residents are all good to him. He has learnt to become more independent and works with a physical care therapist daily to improve his strength and ability as well as trying to reduce his muscular pain. He has made friends and is now a part of a community he feels part of which has helped his mental and wellbeing state immensely.
Currently Bradley only receives a small government pension which barely provides for his personal needs. Both my parents are retirees and cannnot afford the facility's monthly fees and we as his siblings have taken as much financial responsibility as we can however with the current post-covid situation we too are finding it hard to support him fully every month due to the fees having being increased substantially over the last 2 years. This is because pre-covid, the home raised funds to subsidize and keep fees as low as possible for for their residents. The home relies on donations to try keep the residents monthly fees to a minimum and unfortunately, with the current post-pandemic economic crisis we need to appeal to the public for donations, not only to help Bradley but the Home and all the residents as well. Any funds donated that would be an excess of Bradley's treatment will go directly to the Home so that Ann Harding can continue to be such an amazing facility for people with severe disabilities.
Bradley I know is ever so grateful for all the help he can get as he is ever so happy where he is currently placed and would be heart broken if he ever had to move.
Thank you to everyone who helps him stay there!!!
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