The National, Wednesday July 24th, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
IT took a story in The National to get the attention and win the heart of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s wife Lynda Babao to assist a person living with a disability to enjoy some normalcy in life.
Jack Misin, 35, from Morobe was struck by a rare condition at a very young age which made him immobile.
He is used to being carried around in a bilum while raised by parents Caleb Gedion and Martina in Yamap village, located inland of Salamaua, Huon Gulf district, along with eight other siblings.
Last February, The National carried a picture of him being carried on the back of two minders into Lae during his first visit to the city.
Last Saturday, his parents and relatives walked out of the National Orthotic Prosthetic Services centre (NOPS) in the Angau General Hospital with Jack in his new wheelchair.
According to NOPS, O’Neill and his wife’s keen interest resulted in the Prime Minister’s department approaching the National Assembly of Disabled Persons to contact service provider NOPS which linked up with Motivation Australia, the non-governmental organisation that specialises in wheelchair production and distribution.
Jack’s wheelchair was modified and fitted with a removal tray which he can use to eat. It is accompanied by spare accessories and tyres.
His dad and minders have been trained on how to use the wheelchair.
Jack said he could not wait to show it off around the village. His dad Gideon said it was tough raising him in the village. He thanked the PM’s wife, Motivation Australia volunteers and NOPS staff.