Disability is not inability! On 4th June 2010, an explosion occurred at my place of work, at a mine, and I was burnt severely. I was airlifted to a hospital. Whilst at the hospital, I experienced untold pain, trauma, and suffering from the wounds. At one stage, the doctors even said my chances of survival were 50/50.
I then developed an infection in the arm and leg, which prompted the doctors to amputate them.
Finally, after a year of hospitalisation, I was discharged, physically challenged. I could not walk – I could not work anymore – I was financially ruined and I suffered emotionally and mentally. I started losing hope and my family, friends, and workmates also suffered emotionally.
Never look down upon oneself because you look different from others. Always remember that what people think about you is not about you. It is about them.
Fortunately, I started meeting positive-minded people and those people influenced my perception of life. Starting to accept my situation, I realised that the Partington in me had not changed. It was just the physical self that had changed. Those people taught me to always compare my situation to the circumstances of others. When you do that, you learn to appreciate yours. I stopped complaining and from then until now, life has never been the same.
Often, our self-esteem gets shattered when our physical self has been deformed or modified. I did not allow that in my new life. Now I believe in myself. The image says it all. Never look down upon oneself because you look different from others. Always remember that what people think about you is not about you. It is about them.
I am therefore saying, Stayers will make South Africa a better place. Stayers will make the world a better place!
I am grateful for life and for everything, always – grateful that I now do work for the community. Grateful that I’m not disabled, or crippled, or handicapped.
I am only differently abled.
In November 2019 I was invited to a disability workshop. The theme was ‘Disability is not inability. Disability is but a social construct.’ I got the opportunity to share my views with Bernadette Rigby, who appears with me in a photo. She was born with a disability, but is amazing in her own way.
Therefore I am saying, Stayers will make South Africa a better place. Stayers will make the world a better place!
Edited By: Alison Zimmermann
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Final Editing for #ImStaying
I’m a lover of words, of mentoring, networking, and helping my fellow man to ‘learn to fish’. Driven by a hunger to never stop learning, I have a passion for adventure and travel, sundowners and laughter with good friends. At the end of the day what brings great delight to my life are my young adult sons.
Quote: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela