A Cape Flats paraplegic who has become a familiar sight wheeling about on his motorised bed, running errands for neighbours, has been stopped in his tracks.
Ashley Willis, 43, has been confined to his bedroom for the past month after his wheelbed broke down.
The legless good Samaritan from Beacon Valley is now in desperate need of a new chair.
Ashley says after his bed broke, he was forced to make use of a regular wheelchair, which has left huge bedsores on his body.
It’s even worse for Ashley, who also suffers from a condition called sensitive pressure sources, which initially resulted in him getting a wheelbed, as it takes pressure off his more sensitive backside.
In 1997, he was shot by gunmen while working as a security guard at Cornflour Primary School in Lentegeur.
He lost his legs due to a severe case of bed ulcers.
Ashley first appeared in Daily Voice in April when neighbours commended him for helping out the sick and elderly by doing their grocery shopping, washing their cars and collecting kids from school.
But all that came to an end last month when his wheelbed stalled.
“I was in the road near my home when it just lost power,” he explains.
“It has new batteries but it is powerless because of the power box and control box which has given in.”
The bed, which he named Betty, was sent for repairs, but he says it’s going to cost R22 000 to fix it.
Normally the Workmen’s Compensation Fund would have paid for it, but he says the repairs have been put on hold due to a backlog with the Department of Labour.
“I cannot wait indefinitely until they decide to fix my broken chair because I already have severe bedsores, which I have to clean daily,” he says.
“It can cause infection and even death, through blood poisoning.”
His mother, Jeanette Willis, 60, says her son’s independence has been taken away: “He would do everything alone but now he has to depend on us.
“Ashley is someone who loves being outdoors.”
If you can assist Ashley, please call him on 084 855 64 53.
Candice van Reenen, provincial communications officer for the Department of Labour, says she will look into the matter.