In this particular session, I managed to interview Mr. Thomas Anderson (who is my uncle) about his disability.
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The accident happened eight years back when he was thirty-eight years old; he is now forty-six. It was one late evening, at around midnight, and everyone in the vehicle had their seatbelts on. My uncle was seated at the back with one of his friends while the other two were in the front. Suddenly an oncoming car hit their vehicle head-on, causing severe injuries to both vehicles’ occupants. It was later established that, apart from being drunk, the other driver had also been speeding. The unfortunate incident could have been prevented if the other driver had not been drinking or had chosen not to drive that evening and instead take a taxi home. Right after the incident, some first responders came to the rescue and the injured received first aid on the spot. Several surgeries were done at the hospital to repair the damage, but some of it was impossible to fix. The occurrence has altered the victim’s way of life and has also affected the well-being of their loved ones. The family had to shift to the ground-floor apartment so that my uncle would be able to move around instead of being carried up the stairs. The family’s main objectives have also changed from focusing on material things to, instead, concentrating on the most basic needs since the victim can no longer work. His greatest advice was that one should never drink and drive, and if one is drunk, it would be advisable to take a taxi so as to save lives and also avoid injuries. He also said that forgiving was the best way to free oneself from anger and that it helps in the recovery process.
This interview has taught me much about disability and how life can change suddenly. According to Park (2017), being permanently incapacitated is a dreadful experience, and the transition is extremely difficult to manage. The accident had changed Mr. Anderson’s life, and one could tell that he felt helpless because he could no longer provide for his family. He was troubled as he thought he would not be a good father anymore. This was a tough moment for him, and it affected his healing process, but he continued to attend physical therapy sessions.
My uncle gave me some advice too, where he said that, whenever one feels like their life has taken a different direction from the one they had hoped for, it is better to accept it and strive to cope with the unexpected changes. He alleged he never thought this could happen to him, and that such incidences only occurred in the movies or to other individuals but not to him. In the beginning, it was difficult for him to accept. It was also extremely damaging to him, both emotionally and mentally. Finally, my uncle’s condition and his advices have taught me to always accept any emerging consequences and move on with life.
Park, J. (2017). Disability discrimination in South Korea: Routine and everyday aggressions toward disabled people. Disability & Society, 32(6), 918-922. Web.