Double amputee Siphosethu Ncandana (7) will from today be able to wear her own shoes thanks to the philanthropy of Alton Senekal, a Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality fireman, who considers his generousity a necessity for the betterment of society.
His hope is that someone will see the potential in little Siphosethu, better known as Sisi, in order for the toddler to have a chance at a better future.
He describes her as spontaneous and very popular amongst other children in her community.
Senekal saw the little KwaNobuhle girl in 2015 playing on her stumps after extinguishing a fire in a nearby street and immediately took an interest in her well-being.
His fellow fireman Lungile Mni coincidentally knew where the child lives and since than the two men worked in tandem to improve little Sisi’s life.
Born with Hypomelia, a condition where growth of the bones below her knees were affected, little Sisi had both her legs amputated at the tender age of two.
Trips to hospital to amputate her stumps evenly, paying for Sisi’s grandmother’s eye operation, getting a wheelchair for the toddler, taking groceries to the poverty-stricken family and to buy Sisi brand-new school shoes are just some of the good deeds Senekal did.
The veteran fireman with twenty-five years of selfless duty under his belt, says he prefers not to talk about his good deeds, but decided to use this story to inspire others.
“I am doing this to encourage others to do good as well. If every person extent a hand to only one other individual to help, this world will already be a much better place,” Senekal said.
Sisi’s grandmother, Pinky Ncandana (71), is her primary caregiver as the toddler’s parents died and now has help from Yolandi Jaftha (27),a family member.
Jaftha says the grade 2 learner at Stephen Nkomo Primary School liked to wear their shoes on her stumps because she would like to be like one of them.
Today she not only has prosthetic legs but also her own brand-new school shoes to wear with it thanks to Senekal.
“Senekal also did a very good thing to help grandmother Pinky with the eye operation as she is now able to see her grandchild again and take care of her like she used to. I will also do my best to help Sisi to learn to walk with the prosthetics,” Jaftha said.
Sisi surprised medical staff and journalists alike when she managed to take a few steps with her new limbs despite persistent warnings that she should try to walk so quickly.
Medical staff advised that it takes extensive physiotherapy before amputees can walk properly with prosthetic limbs.
Pinky Ncandana says she is very happy and appreciate the efforts of Senekal and Mni.
Philanthropist Senekal’s exemplary attitude is perhaps best personified in the way how he approaches his work.
“As a fireman I treat each and every injured person like he or she is my wife and child. I would not like someone to treat my family like just another day on the job when they are in an accident,” Senekal said.
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