Following the floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina last year, Our Kids Foundation launched an emergency appeal and many generous people came forward to donate. We delivered a lot of aid in the weeks immediately after the flood but we were not able to spend all the money. The remaining funds were set aside to continue helping families and children who needed longer term help.
Anđela and her family live in Doboj. They lost everything. Their ground floor apartment was completely flooded. The family were already struggling. Anđela has Rett Syndrome, a severe neurodevelopmental disorder. There is no known cure and it’s such a rare disease that very little is known about it. Among the many debilitating symptoms, children often suffer from scoliosis or curvature of the spine. This can be avoided or at least greatly reduced with the use of a specialist wheelchair during the critical years of childhood as the spine is growing.
Such equipment is very expensive and the family simply could not afford it. The ministry for health was able to cover only about a quarter of what they needed.
Our Kids Foundation heard about Anđela’s situation through Djeca Doboj (facebook.com/djecadoboja), a children’s charity working with disabled children in and around Doboj and Maglaj. We visited and spoke with Anđela’s father and Sanja, the founder of Djeca Doboj. It didn’t take long to conclude that enabling the purchase of the wheelchair would be a good use of some funds from the flood appeal.
Anđela, her brother and her parents have moved back into their apartment. With this wheelchair and ongoing physiotherapy (which you can see in the pictures below) we hope that Anđela will be able to develop more mobility and independence. The wheelchair can be adjusted as Anđela grows and will provide excellent support for at least the next 4 years. We wish them all the best for the future.
Here’s a picture of the old wheelchair, with no specialist support for Anđela’s back.