Learning that your child was involved in an accident is every parent’s worst nightmare. And for the Goosens from Wellington, that fateful day was 1 December 2021, when their 7-year-old son Dicklin Goosen was hit by a car. The accident left Dicklin with a severe traumatic brain injury, a skull fracture and harm to his right eye – which meant multi-disciplinary therapy was needed to ensure he made some form of recovery. Dicklin was rereferred to St. Joseph’s Home and was admitted on 5 February 2022. “Upon admission, he was wheelchair-bound and needed complete assistance for all activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, dressing and even playing,” says occupational therapist, Kashiefa Creighton. “Dicklin received intense rehabilitation and was seen for occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy. And as part of his rehabilitation process, he attended St. Joseph’s School daily.”

His smile grew each day and his fierce fighting spirit aided his progress, and now, after only six months of holistic care, Dicklin has made remarkable progress in all aspects of his daily living. “He is able to walk short distances independently and uses a walking frame for long distances. His improved mobility enabled him to enjoy a variety of activities and he particularly enjoys playing in the park on his favourite ride, the merry-go-round,” adds Kashiefa. In 2020, St. Joseph’s Home launched a specialised play park that was customised for children with disabilities – a great tool in therapy and inclusive play. Better yet, the little patients love it!

“One of the greatest challenges we face in rehabilitation of survivors with acquired brain injuries is the ability of the brain and body to work together in a synchronised way, which is called cognitive-motor ability, co-ordination and dexterity in our terms,” Kashiefa explains. “Dicklin has improved so much that he has retained all his basic learning skills and has overcome most of his classroom challenges. He is able to write with improved pencil control and is also able to use technology such as the classroom tablet for certain integrated
learning activities.”

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Dicklin’s parents.
As St. Joseph’s Home, we would not have achieved our therapeutic goals without the input and assistance of his dedicated parents who played a pivotal role in his rehabilitation.

“He is always striving to give his best”