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Johan van Dyk appreciates the newly donated wheelchair. Photo Adam Hartman
Johan van Dyk appreciates the newly donated wheelchair. Photo Adam Hartman

Government donated wheelchair answers prayer

Adam Hartman
A recent donation of wheelchairs by the Namibian government to those in need in the Erongo Region was an answer to the prayers of Johan van Dyk (66), whose legs are amputated.

"This can only happen because of the Lord. Without Him nothing is possible. We must believe Him and trust Him. He says he will not leave or forsake us, and that if we ask, we shall receive. This new chair is a gift from Him," Van Dyk told Erongo 24/7.

He was speaking at the handover event at the Swakopmund State Hospital.

According to Van Dyk, who lives in Henties Bay, the new wheelchair requires a few modifications, and he needs to adapt to using it.

"It’s like a new car. I need to ride in it."

A new reality

He and his wife are pensioners, and he was renting a wheelchair before the donation, which posed a financial strain on the elderly couple. "Now at least we can save a couple of dollars," he said.

Van Dyk lost his right leg in 2020. He was a diabetic, but the impact of the diagnosis only truly revealed itself when his dog accidently scratched his right foot’s big toe.

"There were two sores, which I cleaned and disinfected, but it was too late. Within a week the whole foot became red, and then it turned black. That's when they decided to amputate only the foot, but then the infection spread fast and so they had to cut below the knee," he explained.

Sadly, just when he became used to his new reality, 11 months later, his left leg got thrombosis – a condition in which the blood could not circulate through his leg. The sole of his foot "just fell off", leaving a large open wound.

"I went to the hospital, and they operated – the leg was removed above the knee. Now I am without legs, but I am not without hope."


His life changed drastically, in that he can no longer do what he previously could, but this is no longer a concern to Van Dyk.

"I’m just grateful that the Lord has spared my life, because if my legs had not been amputated, I could have died. God spared my life. I can still breathe and I can still bless and worship Him."

Statistics indicate there are about 66 people in the Erongo Region that depend on a wheelchair, with only about 40 in possession of this much needed mobility aid.


Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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