The pain of parents with children suffering from cerebral palsy

Faith Topon with her son who is suffering from cerebral palsy. PHOTO/Jeremiah Chamakany, The Scholar Media Africa.

A man from Eldama, Baringo County was working in Kericho County when he fell in love with Faith Topon.

He was quick enough to bring this blessing to his homeland.

Speaking to The Scholar Media Africa at her marital home in Kipkaber, Sabatia location, Koibatek Sub-county, Topon, a mother of three, said she is sad.

“My youngest child born in 2009 cannot join any school in Kenya because he is not like other children,” she revealed. 

“My son is suffering from cerebral palsy and no academic institution can accommodate him.”

Topon said that one time her son joined Christ the King Embakassi Special Care Unit in Nairobi, but maintaining him there was too expensive for her.

“I was forced to rent a room in Nairobi’s Embakasi area but I soon gave up because without a job, I could not afford food and rent,” she said. 

Back at home in Koibatek, Topon learnt of a special school in Nakuru County and enrolled her son to join the institution.

This, she says, was the worst decision she ever made in her life.

“I gambled with my son’s life! The other mentally ill children pushed him down the stairs and he lost a tooth and sustained a leg injury,” Topon said.

The Ole Tipis Girls alumni only got to learn of her son’s situation when schools closed.

She had travelled to the school to bring him home.

“My heart was filled with sadness when I saw my son sitting all alone, so thin and emaciated. 

I had no option but to take him to Eldama Ravine Sub –County Hospital where he was placed on treatment,” she said.

She thinks there was negligence from the side of the school administration.

She is now too afraid to let her son stay where she cannot watch over him.

For this reason, Topon is asking residents of Baringo County, development partners, the child department and political leaders into one noble discussion;  Education for children with special needs.

“Nobody is speaking enough about the welfare of children with special needs and as a mother of a child suffering from cerebral palsy, I see the need to break the silence and be a voice for many children who require special attention not only in class, but safety-wise,’’ Topon said.

When she was a pupil at Litein Primary school in Kericho, Topon aspired to work as a pediatrician but life can be very uncertain.

She lost her loving husband in the year 2009.

This shattered her dream to train for her choice career.

She is now forced to stay at home and take care of her son who can be so violent at times.

A jobless widow, she is forced to make charcoal to sustain her family.

“Bringing up a child with special needs can mean no employment because now, I have to assume the role of a full time care taker.

 It is not easy at all especially for single parent families,’’ she said. 

Topon can be reached on: 0707633784

Ms Topon prepares sacks of charcoal for sale to sustain her family. PHOTO/Jeremiah Chamakany, The Scholar Media Africa.
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