By Thomo Nkgadima
Jeffrey Masha (37) from Mamelodi, outside Pretoria, who is in a wheelchair after attempting to take his life, could walk again if he underwent clinical neurological physiotherapy treatment.
Robert Sehulong Moraba, a general practitioner, describes neurology as a spinal cord injury in the nervous system.
The unemployed Jeffrey became disabled due to the poison he took and his condition can be managed depending on the seriousness of the damaged nerves.
Moraba says neuropathy is a damage to the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, and internal organs.
Damage to those nerves disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body.
Jeffrey, the father of two children, thinks trying to take his life was never the answer.
“You can’t solve one problem with another,”he said.
He has become a mockery to many people and others still talk about his ordeal.
“I learned from a painful experience that when you’re in a depression situation, you have to talk to someone close to you,” says Jeffrey.
He is now busy clearing the streets of his informal settlement after losing his job as a security guard due to his disability.
He ended up in a wheelchair after drinking chlorine acid while trying to kill himself.
He was rushed to Steve Biko Hospital and awoke 5 days later in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
He was diagnosed with neuropathy for nerves. He is currently receiving physiotherapy treatment to help him walk again.
The doctors said his condition was temporary.
He says that this is not a permanent disability, but a condition that must be managed properly by regular physiotherapy.
He attended a three-week counselling session to deal with his circumstances. He is now a God-fearing man who has found his own peace.
“I have decided to forget about the past and live in the present so that I can walk in the future”.
Now his longtime old darling and the mother of his two children left him after he was released from the hospital.
“She sent me a message telling me to get a life and move on.
“I regret that I tried to commit suicide, but there is nothing I can do to change the situation.
“I was an alcoholic for approximately one year. I cried when I was drunk until I realized it was time to seek professional assistance,” he said.
He learned through painful experience that when you are in a stressful situation, you should not bottle up your problems, but rather talk to someone close to you.
He is from a family of three and his mother, Rebecca Mohlala, 63, works as a maid. He is looking for other work to support his children.
He now survives because of a disability grant from social development.
These days, life hasn’t been easy for him. Now he is struggling to walk to the hospital for a check up and treatment using public transport.
Pics by Thomo Nkgadima