Wheelchair to Zimbabwe Brought in by Visitor

April 10, 2012

From public letter written by Melvin Rhodes 

In a country that not so long ago suffered from severe food shortages, the ladies put on a really nice meal for us.  At the same time, Marshall Takaindisa, received his “new” (used) battery operated wheelchair. Marshall teaches at a sprawling school complex and, so far, has depended on others to push him around. But now he can get around by himself.

Marshall Takaindisa

He asked for a wheelchair a few months ago. Finding a wheelchair was one thing—getting it into the country was quite another. Freight charges and customs duties are only part of the problem—the paperwork is quite daunting. It was suggested that I “ride” it into Zimbabwe. For this, I needed a letter from my doctor saying that I needed to use a wheelchair in Johannesburg where the new airport requires a lot of walking. For once the wound in my foot was advantageous!

Melvin Rhodes

I asked the office in Pretoria, South Africa, if they could help find the wheelchair. Finally one was found, but when our office employee’s husband, Neil Wallis, went to pick it up, he realized there was no foot-rest. That meant I would have to keep my feet up while using the chair. A foot-rest could be added once it arrived in Zimbabwe.

At the airport the battery ran out so I had to be pushed with my feet up, but we got it on to the plane and into Zimbabwe and into the hands of Marshall, who was absolutely thrilled to receive it. LifeNets paid for the wheelchair and this wheelchair will make a big difference in one man’s life.

-- Melvin Rhodes