Sandy Bay family gifted new wheelchair for disabled teen
January 6, 2017
Sandy Bay family gifted new wheelchair for disabled teen

A Sandy Bay family most certainly felt the Christmas spirit last month, as their 18-year-old daughter received the brand new wheelchair they had been hoping for.

The teen, Donte Browne, has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.

Last November, after the passage of a trough system that damaged several homes in the country, Emily Browne, Donte’s mother, called on the general public to assist her daughter.

Emily told SEARCHLIGHT that the weather system had damaged her home and she made a call for a new wheelchair and a double mattress for her daughter, whom she says slides off the single mattress she was using at the emergency shelter.

Following the publication of the article in SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, Stephen DaSilva, a Vincentian living in the USA, contacted the newspaper, stating that he had purchased the wheelchair for Donte.

“I saw an article in the SEARCHLIGHT newspaper and I was moved with compassion for the young lady. I purchased the wheelchair as requested and sent it to the family so that she can get it for Christmas to share in the happiness of the season. I have a passion about helping to make life better for those who are disabled and or sick and suffering,” DaSilva told SEARCHLIGHT.

DaSilva noted that although he resides in the United States, he keeps up to date with Vincentian news, as he is very patriotic.

“In the past, when Mespo was in need of an ambulance, I donated to that just cause… I support fund-raising events in USA, which benefit our Vincentian community. I love my country.”

The wheelchair was handed over to the Browne family in Sandy Bay on Christmas Eve by Garnes Byron, a Vincentian living in the US and a colleague of DaSilva’s.

Browne and her four children were among the 125 people who were forced to seek refuge at the Sandy Bay Government School emergency shelter in November 2016.

Since then, a number of organizations have visited the Sandy Bay area, bringing aid to the community that was ravaged by heavy rains and floods. (AS)