• May 24th, 2019
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Family struggles with upkeep of son with brain condition

WINDHOEK – The mother of an 11-year-old boy suffering from hydrocephalus, a brain condition in which there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain, says the family is struggling to survive. 
Ester Abraham, the mother of Herman Cornelius who was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at the age of five, says she had to give up her job to take care of her son. 

Her husband, who has since been the sole breadwinner, also lost his job and does odd jobs to put bread on the table. 

Hydrocephalus can develop for a variety of reasons, sometimes as part of another condition. One can be born with it, acquire it from certain brain diseases, or develop it as part of the ageing process, according to Hydrocephalus Association website. 

“I stopped working because he requires a lot of care and I do not have anyone to leave him with when I go to work,” said Abraham. 

Due to his condition, Cornelius has to go for medical check-ups every once in a while and even taxi money is hard to get, said Ester who spoke from their family home in the informal settlement of Hakahana. 
The mother of three also takes care of three other children and having a big family also means having to feed many mouths. Cornelius’ condition is such that he only takes fluids, mostly milk and juice, which are pricey to the family.

“One container of powdered milk only lasts for one week and he also has to wear nappies. I am affected by his condition because I cannot work to buy food for the house or toiletries for myself,” said the distraught mother.

“We owe the municipality N$41 000 so we do not have electricity or water at home,” explained Abraham. 
The social grant Cornelius receives from government is not enough to cover for his monthly expenses, added Abraham. 

Cornelius spends most of his days lying down because he is unable to sit on his own. The boy neither bends or moves his body by himself and relies on his mother, father and siblings for care. 

“In the beginning it was hard to accept his condition because he was not born like that but I now understand because I do not have control over what has happened. Sometimes there is no food or nappies or milk for him. It’s really hard,” said the 31-year- old Abraham. 

Alvine Kapitako
2018-11-15 09:48:25 6 months ago

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