Dying to leave garage for a house

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Tsatsi Khosi, 18, spends all his time watching television in the garage which he, his mother Pontsho, and sister Ntshepeng, call home in Pimville, Soweto.

Tsatsi suffers from myotonic muscular dystrophy (MMD), a debilitating hereditary muscular disease.

He got MMD when he was four years old and has been confined to a wheelchair from the age of 10. He has also had two leg operations.

His mother says: "He doesn't have an electric wheelchair so it is hard to push him out of the house."

It is also difficult to push him out of the garage because they don't have a wheelchair ramp and he has grown too heavy for his mother to perform this function.

Though life is unbearable for the young man, the family has no choice but to cope.

They have been waiting for a house from the Department of Housing for about five years.

"Tsatsi is now older and deserves privacy, but he has none in this place," his mother says.

This year, Tsatsi did not go back to school at Hope Centre because it was recently found that he has a heart condition and pneumonia. His muscles are also growing weaker every day.

"He doesn't want to die in the garage," says his mother.

Mandla Sidu, the media liaison officer at the Department of Housing, says: "The department has placed Tsatsi's case on the database for people who require special attention."

The department says there are 1454 people with disabilities and other special needs on the waiting list.

The family says it would not mind renting a house if it has a ramp and inside toilet for Tsatsi. - Source: www.muscle.ca