Ashanti Region, Ghana | 38 years old
My name is Henrietta Addai,
I reside in Asante Bekwai in the Ashanti region of Upper East Ghana.
I am 38 years old and a single woman.
This is the disease I have been battling for 15 years now. All my dreams were destroyed because this disease did not let me complete my training as I left it in my final year.
I live with my mother. I had a penchant for studying and teaching everyone to change the world for good as I thought that education plays a pivotal role in human life. In my early childhood, there were different problems in my body that led to a serious problem “Arthritis”. This is the disease I have been battling for 15 years now. All my dreams were destroyed because this disease did not let me complete my training as I left it in my final year. It’s been 15 years now and I still lament to the fact that this disease has incapacitated me to fulfill all the dreams.
The life I wanted was uncertain which led me to a dark phase in life. My vulnerability became my weakness as I thought I was a burden to my family. My eyesight got weak and I can barely see now. The thought of adapting to my situation was difficult but I had to anyway. My self resentment gradually changed into adaptability where I tried to overcome my sorrow with small bits of happiness.
I was never able to work again, my mother is the one running the family. She sells charcoal and the money is not enough for our food and essentials. The medicines I intake is really expensive and there is no aid from the government. I can't walk and have been in bed rest for the paste fifteen years. My mother relentlessly works for money and at home. She is old enough to take rest but my condition doesn't let her. All she wants is to earn enough money so that I can live comfortably when she is no longer around or able to help. She is a very strong, pragmatic woman and never gives up.
Awareness about the long-term effects of this disease is still not common enough. I have had the bitter experience of this disease so I want people to be more aware of it.
This pandemic has been hard for us both emotionally and financially. As we're dealing with the financial crisis, one of the liaisons of The Africa In Me stumbled across me and understood my distress, and decided to help with food and other essentials. We were visited and provided with the essentials a few weeks later. The day they gave us the essentials was a proud day for me, as I thought humanity was alive and the work of empathy and giving back I wanted to practice and preach is done by this beautifully established organization.
As an “Arthritis” patient for so long, I want to entreat everyone to give back to the needy. Awareness about the long-term effects of this disease is still not common. I have had the bitter experience of this disease so I want people to be more aware of it. Lastly, I am so indebted to this organization for their kindness and all the assistance they pledged to help me with medicinal supplies. In this kind of situation, every penny matters so give back to people.