Kevin van Eeden was born on the 10th of April 2006 at 30 weeks, weighing a mere 1.5kg at birth. After 28 days in Neonatal ICU at the hospital where he was born, he was discharged with a clean medical record and weighing 1.9kg. At almost 5 months, mom Marlene, began to suspect that there was something wrong with his eyes as he wasn`t focusing on anything. After many doctors` visits and tests, they confirmed that Kevin has Optic Nerve Atrophy (ONA) and are therefore completely blind. ONA means that the nerve of both eyes connecting them to the brain has not developed and so there is no communication between the eyes and the brain.
Mom and Dad sold everything and moved to Cape Town to try to give Kevin a better chance of a normal life. They managed to get him in at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and after further tests they were shocked to learn that Kevin also has severe brain damage (presumably due to complications at birth). Kevin’s condition is called Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.
The costs in Cape Town were just too expensive to get a suitable school daycare for Kevin, and because his parents didn’t have medical there either, they were forced to return to Lichtenburg. They both got jobs again but mom’s medical aid still does not cover everything that Kevin needs, such as therapy, special equipment and nappies etc. He is on 2 types of chronic medication for seizures and also on medication for chronic constipation (Pegicol), but it is not chronically covered and is deducted from medical day to day benefits each month.
His nappies, wipes and other needs such as extra nutritional supplements like Pediasure and other supplements are also not covered by medical. Because they are on a Saver Medical Aid they simply can’t afford to take Kevin for therapy on a regular basis.
Marlene works 12 hour shifts (day and night), so they had to hire a nanny to take care of Kevin during the day when both parents are at work. The nanny’s salary also costs a fair amount each month.
Kevin is now 14 years old and is a very loving and cheerful boy despite all the setbacks and trials he has to go through every day. He cannot walk, sit or talk. He must wear nappies and has to be fed soft food. Chances of choking are very high as he cannot control his breath or chew like others do. Both of his hips are displaced due to the spasticity in his muscles, and he also has scoliosis which causes him great pain at night while he is asleep. He needs to sleep between mom and dad on their bed because he can choke, or have a seizure in his sleep. He also has to be turned regularly to prevent bed sores.
Because Kevin is now becoming a big boy, and won’t be able to sleep between his parents forever, they are thinking of purchasing something like an electronic hospital bed to make it easier to deal with his needs. Mom can hardly pick him up and carry him around anymore. He also needs a special needs bath chair to facilitate bath time, especially if one of his parents are not there. An electric hoist will also make life a lot easier for him and his parents because he gets taller and heavier by the day, and it`s becoming increasingly difficult to get him in and out of the bath, and from the bed to his special needs buggy.
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Supporting our fundraising initiative is a great way to get involved and make a significant difference in Kevin`s life. Together we can change his world, one bracelet at a time!
Fundraising for Kevin Jacques van Eeden
Anchored in Faith Bracelets for Kevin; consisting of white and teal wooden beads with crystals – and an Anchor, Infinity, or a Hope-Awareness Ribbon and small Cross charm. To place an order, contact the agent in your area or shop online. Alternatively, please consider a donation; any and all donations welcome.
“A heart of faith is anchored in the unseen.”