Hope for mother of disabled teen

Nomahlubi Mbulu’s plight touches GroundUp and News24 readers

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Photo of Nomahlubi Mbulu
Nomahlubi Mbulu with some of the goods donated by readers who followed the story of her daily struggle to take care of her disabled children. Her neighbour, who did not want to be named, is feeding Mbulu’s son Sibusiso Keyisi. Photo: Masixole Feni

Disabled teenager Lilitha Keyisi will be taken care of at the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital until she can be placed in a permanent home, her relieved mother Nomahlubi Mbulu was told yesterday.

Mbulu has battled for years to look after 13-year-old Lilitha and her 20-year-old brother Sibusiso, who is also disabled.

Her plight touched the hearts of GroundUp and News24 readers, who have raised more than R15,000 for her and donated boxes of clothing and household goods. (News24 republished the GroundUp article and then did follow-up articles.)

Lilitha suffers from epilepsy and autism and is a danger to herself. A few weeks ago Mbulu took her daughter to Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, where Lilitha had been spending a couple of weeks every year, saying she could no longer look after the teenager properly. The hospital took Lilitha in and she will stay there until the Nyanga department of social development finds a permanent care facility for her.

Mbulu said she had been told that Lilitha would receive assisted care, treatment and rehabilitation services as an in-patient and that during her stay at the hospital she would also receive “short term therapeutic interventions”.

Mbulu was all smiles and praise when GroundUp visited her on Friday morning to deliver goods donated by readers. She said the money raised would help finance wooden flooring in her lounge, tiles in her kitchen and bathroom, and fencing around her yard, and winter clothes and food for her children.

“I am overwhelmed by the help that I have received from people after the GroundUp article. I do not even know how to express in words how I feel.

“All I know is that I finally have hope that my children will get the help that they need,” said Mbulu.

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TOPICS:  Disability Rights Health

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