A grandmother from Lemery, Iloilo could not contain her happiness and expression of gratitude after receiving the customized wheelchair for her 10-year old granddaughter named Ellah.

Nelia Dableo said the assistive device is an early Christmas gift for the family especially for Ellah who has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk.

Dableo said the moment she was informed that Ella might be included in the list of recipients of a customized wheelchair she felt gratified and even jumped for joy.

As she ages, Dableo said, carrying Ellah is already difficult for her.

On December 3, she told the father of Ellah that the opportunity is a real blessing and urged him to go with them to the city to get the wheelchair which will provide them rest from carrying Ella.

“Ellah can also rest from just lying or rolling over the bed most of the time,” said Dableo.

The same expression of happiness was heard from the mother of 15-year old John Rey Cantiveros from Leganes, Iloilo. She said it will now be easy for her to take care of John Rey, the eldest of her two children, as the device can greatly help his son to get around.

Ellah and John Rey are two of the five children who are recipients of the customized wheelchairs distributed by the Regional Committee on Disability Affairs in Western Visayas on Dec. 3 marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebration in the region.

The five wheelchairs were part of the 74 wheelchairs provided by the Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints, in partnership with Physicians for Peace, Inc., for children with cerebral palsy from the city and province of Iloilo.

Cristina de Guzman of the Department of Health 6 said the children were assessed in January last year by assessors from the University of the Philippines – PGH with the help of Physicians for Peace, Inc. to ensure that the wheelchairs are appropriate for the recipients.

The wheelchairs were supposed to be turned over to the beneficiaries last March but because of the pandemic, the assessors were not able to arrive. Assessors assembled the wheelchairs and saw to it that they comfortably fit the users.

Out of the 66 allotted for Iloilo province, De Guzman said only five wheelchairs were released because they have to consider the condition of the children at this time of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Some 8 children from Iloilo City will benefit from the customized wheelchairs.

De Guzman thanked the Tactical Operations Group 6 of the Philippine Air Force through Col. Dennis Alcarde for the transport of the device from Manila to Iloilo. (Lilibeth A. French, PIA6 Iloilo)