Double amputee gets travel help to access therapy

Double amputee Rickford McKenzie has received monetary assistance to offset the transportation expenses from his Grove, East Bank Demerara home to the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre in the city for therapy.

Administrator of the centre Cynthia Massay told Stabroek News that after reading an article on the man’s condition, London-based Guyanese Edward Murray delivered a cheque for £150.

She said Murray has been assisting the centre for over ten years. McKenzie lost his legs to diabetes in 2010 and February of this year. Because of his disability he was unable to work and his wife was in a similar position as she has to remain at home to care for him. Several weeks ago, the 56-year-old former city constable appealed for a new wheelchair as well as a better home to live in.

Rickford McKenzie

He had said that a wheelchair would enable him to move around outside his home. However, Massay said he needed prosthetic legs which would greatly increase his chances of getting employment which would put less pressure on his wife.

The centre has given a commitment to help McKenzie live a normal and better life by not only advising him how to eat well and take care of his body but also get prostheses.

McKenzie through monetary assistance from the National Insurance Scheme was able to get a prosthetic leg after his first amputation. He will now have to seek further assistance from NIS to get another one.

Melanie English, the NIS rehab assistant and member of the Guyana Diabetic Foot Care Project had agreed to visit Mc Kenzie at his home twice a month to assist with exercises as he was not in a position to affect the $4,000 return fare every week.

Before McKenzie can uses his prostheses he has to first learn to balance on one. Then he had to exercise his latest amputated leg so that it could attain the right shape to fit into a prosthetic leg.

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