How are they doing… part 5??

We will continue our series of “How are they doing …” again,

because some of our readers have requested to hear some news about a few residents they feel especially connected with.
It is my pleasure to meet with these requests so I will be writing about 3 of our residents today:
John Papa
He is a special child and he will always be a special child, our John Papa! He is 10 years old in the mean time and he is still communicating with others in his own unusual and inimitable ways. He produces unintelligible sounds, makes many and wild gestures with his arms, fiddles about with his fingers and once in a while (though not as often as it used to be) hits or kicks around well intentioned but hard. Probably he is acting on a philosophy of: “this will give me a lot of attention” and of course it works that way!
This thought of “negative attention is also attention” can be recognized with some politicians, John Papa might be copying their behaviour….., who knows??
In spite of repeated and serious attempts to make him completely toilet-trained, things sometimes go wrong. He is not oblivious of this; you can see from his face that he isn’t.
Slowly but certainly John Papa is noticeably growing older and quieter and he is enjoying – in his own special way – the space and freedom of PCC.
Mabel, about 24 years old and having lived with us for already 10 years now, doesn’t change a lot. Maybe just that she is slowly but certainly gaining some weight. Of course, she does like good and much food like so many children with Down syndrome do. She likes being with other people, at the moment we often notice her in the company of Dede, but Mabel isn’t very picky and choosy with regard to her friends, she has many of them.
Sometimes she comes to us with a hurt look on her face as if somebody has done her wrong, but fortunately, it is very easy for us to comfort her and she likes being comforted a lot.
Mabel is a happy and satisfied young woman, she can sometimes be a bit lazy, although she can still dance very actively and dynamically.
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On the 17th of December Emmanuella is hoping to celebrate her 12th birthday and because she arrived at PCC just after her birth, her age coincides with the length of her stay in PCC. She doesn’t know any other kind of life than the family life in PCC, together with her much devoted mother, caregiver Joyce, and Philomena and Kojo Patrick as her big sister and little brother.
Because of the striking nature of her disabilities (no arms and no legs) Emmanuella continues to draw the attention of each visitor to PCC, there is obviously no escape. Emmanuella can deal with this in a good way and she is well able to communicate when she likes it and when she doesn’t.
With the aid of various tools and devices she is able to eat (more or less) without any help and to “walk”, using the shuffle-walker. This device is helping her to move as much as possible and ….. also to prevent her from gaining too much weight……!
For years Emmanuella has attended the regular primary school in Nkoranza on a daily basis, together with Stephen, Nana Agyei and Gabriel. She likes going to school and she writes faster than any other child by using her mouth. At the same time she certainly realizes that she is “different” from all other children. It seems that she has been well able to tackle that awareness up to now.
Emmanuella is slowly reaching puberty and we wonder how she will develop during that period of her life.
We hope to offer Emmanuella a safe and loving home for a very long time still to come.