Thembi has lived with her mother-in-law ever since Thembi married her son 34 years ago.

The elderly Siyanda wrestled with high blood pressure, but she and her daughter-in-law took public transportation every month to obtain medications.

Then in 2015, Siyanda’s ability to move her legs was hampered by some sort of “high blood attack.” After that, she was no longer able to walk, except short distances painfully bent over a walking stick. Getting to a clinic became more and more difficult. “Some months we had to skip getting her tablets,” said Thembi.

Spontaneous joy from Siyanda and TLC staff member.

One health issue seemed to compound another. The 85-year-old lady became withdrawn and quiet, unlike her normal gregarious self. “I did not like just sitting in my home and not doing. I can still think, and I want to help,” explained Siyanda.

Enter The Luke Commission mobile hospital outreach near the ladies’ rural Liswati homestead…

More joy unspeakable, as much for the mind as the body.

“We came today for treatment for the whole family and to ask for a wheelchair for gogo,” said Thembi. “Thank you for coming to us.”

Siyanda was fitted with a new chair from Free Wheelchair Mission. And the celebration began immediately!

“I cannot stand to sing, like I would like to, but I can raise my hands,” laughed the grateful lady. “Even my family will be happy. They will say gogo has a new car.”

Joy, too, reaches Siyanda’s daughter-in-law and longtime caregiver. Oh, yes!

And her faithful daughter-in-law? “Now I can push her to public transport every month, so we can get her blood pressure tablets.”

by Janet Tuinstra on the field with a team committed to compassionate medicine

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