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Boy loses hand in accident, but proves disability is not inability

Boy loses hand in accident, but proves disability is not inability

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The adage ‘disability is not inability’ may be somewhat overused, but it perfectly describes Owia resident Jaldini John.

On Saturday, April 12, 2014, John and several young footballers were travelling in a minibus along the Argyle main road, when the minibus and a rental car collided.

While the occupant of the car sustained only minor injuries to his right foot, Jaldini, 13 at the time, had to have his left hand amputated, as a result of injuries sustained during the accident. Other students were also injured, but Jaldini bore the brunt of the crash.

“When I now got it (the amputation), I felt down and I felt like I couldn’t do anything; but I overcome all obstacles,” Jaldini told SEARCHLIGHT recently, at the Old Montrose Police Station.

Jaldini was at the police station attending the closing ceremony of the 2017 Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) Music Summer Programme. He was one of over 100 students who took on the challenge of leaning to play a musical instrument over the summer vacation.

Jaldini chose the trumpet. He said he heard about the programme from his mother and spent his summer vacation in Kingstown at the home of a relative in order to be a part of the music training programme.

“I want to continue playing the trumpet,” said the enthusiastic youngster, who is now a fifth form student at the Georgetown Secondary School (GSS).

He said during the summer programme, he had to learn to hold the trumpet with his right hand while supporting it with his left arm, a task that would be simple for someone with two hands, but was a bit more complicated for Jaldini, as his left hand is missing.  

“I went for the entire time and I found the programme very good,” said Jaldini, who added that after he got into the accident, he had to adjust to various things and situations.

“I am not making the accident a problem,” he said, explaining that on the day of the crash, his team, Owia United, had won the soccer game, and he had scored two goals against an opponent that was considered superior.

“After the accident, I had to adjust my balance, but I am still playing soccer for Owia United and my school team and I am still playing good,” said Jaldini.

The youngster, who will soon be 16, has advice for other young people who may be going through difficulties for whatever reasons.  

“Keep pursuing your dream, never give up. I never thought I would be in this position, but I did not give up; I adjusted,” he offered, noting that he is a fast learner.

Jaldini said while he has since stopped playing tennis and squash, he has not altered his life too much because of his amputation.

He is hoping to become a professional footballer and if that does not work out, he wants to be an entrepreneur.

“This hand would not hold me back. I used to feel awkward, but I adjusted to it. It is as if I just born, like if I born over again,” Jaldini commented with a big smile.

During the closing ceremony, Jaldini displayed what he had learnt during the summer programme, playing the trumpet as part of a group made up of other graduates.(LC)

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