Paul Pindani in CHINHOYI
THE founder of charity organisation, Mothers of Special Heroes (MOSH), says raising a child with cerebral palsy is not an easy journey.
Chantelle Shangare founded the organisation after her own child was diagnosed with the condition.
Her son, Tazvionaishe, developed cerebral palsy after falling into water when he was 10 months old.
“Tragedy struck the family when the twins were 10 months old and I had left them with the maid while going to work.
“When the maid left the other twin sleeping in the bedroom, he woke up and crawled from the bed and fell into a bucket of cold water, which the maid intended to bathe him in, when he woke up.
“The maid found the baby’s upper part of the body in the water and he looked lifeless.
“She called my brother who did mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and pressed his chest and water came out of his ears, eyes, mouth and nostrils.
“He then rushed the baby to hospital.”
She said her son was unconscious in the ICU when she arrived at the hospital.
“I cried and prayed, and the baby started crying to show he was alive. But my happiness was short-lived, as his limbs were now dysfunctional.
“He could not breastfeed and the doctors said they had done all they could to help and he needed a CT scan and an MRI scan.
“I have never prayed so hard for a miracle in my life, and I could not even sleep,” she said.
The baby was diagnosed with severe brain damage.
“My husband and I were so devastated and we cried uncontrollably. Doctors, nurses and pastors tried counselling us, but it was just too much for us.
“To make matters worse, the doctor told us that our son would never be able to walk. After he was discharged from the hospital, I found out that he had no head control, he could not move his hands and legs, and didn’t respond to sound or even see me.”
Shangare learned through her own research that parents of children with such conditions are more positive in Western countries than in Zimbabwe.
“It’s not an easy road, but mothers, caregivers and guardians need all the support.
“The special child may not even understand what they are going through, but the mother or caregiver knows and is affected more, hence I named it Mothers of Special Heroes.”