Anthony Ghillino

Email: anthony@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za / treasurer@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za

Anthony was born in Johannesburg in 1975 before moving to Cape Town with his family in 1990. Anthony was a promising sportsman with cricket being the sport that he excelled at. In 1992 at the age of 16 years old Anthony was traveling home from a get together with his friends in the back of an open bakkie when it left the road and rolled. Anthony took the full weight of the vehicle on his neck which resulted in him dislocating his fourth vertebrae and severing his spinal cord.

Anthony returned home to live with his parents but due to circumstances and not being aware of what his rights were he was unable to complete his schooling. While at home Anthony lived a very sheltered life and hardly ever went out. Anthony was looked after by a part-time carer and his aging parents who found it physically more and more difficult to see to Anthony’s needs. In 2002 Anthony moved into The Centre and has not looked back.

With the support of The Centre and he was able to attend to Technicon where he completed a course in entrepreneurship. Anthony has developed his public speaking skills and has spoken at numerous schools, churches and large corporations.

Anthony is currently employed by the QuadPara Association of the Western Cape in the position of project manager where he enjoys being able to help other people with disabilities. Anthony is responsible for dealing with the Department of Social Development as well as other administration related tasks within the house. Anthony describes The Centre as having changed his life and transforming him from a shy unskilled individual to a confident, capable individual.

Fizel De Vries

Email fizel@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za

Living in Stellenbosch, Fizel grew up surrounded by family and friends. At the age of 16 his life changed forever when he was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between rival gangs. A stray bullet struck Fizel in the neck, immediately paralyzing him and leaving him unable to take care of his most basic needs. Fizel could not go back to his old school but was able to complete his education at Astra School, a school for people with special needs where he stayed as a border.

When his schooling was over Fizel had no alternative but to return to Stellenbosch where he stayed in circumstances which were less than ideal as the surrounding area was not accessible and there was no one trained to take care of his special needs. Members of his family had to sacrifice their jobs to take care of him and the lack of access to transport resulted in him being confined to his immediate environment with no hope of accessing services which would allow him to develop himself.

Fizel moved into The Centre and immediately started to grow.

Since he moved into The Centre Fizel has been awarded Western Province colours for wheelchair rugby, participated in numerous wheelchair races, taken up blow darts, started painting with his mouth, attended Technicon and has even found employment at the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre. It thanks to having the stability and support of The Centre that Fizel has been able to achieve so much. Fizel is responsible for seeing to The Centre’s vehicles.

Brenton Swartz

Email: brenton@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za

Brenton grew up in the suburb of Atlantis, where he did well at school and loved riding his bike and playing with his friends. In September 1994, just two months after his mother passed away Brenton was injured in a shooting accident. After spending eight months in hospital, Brenton went to a school for people with disabilities where he stayed as a border before matriculating in 1998.

As Brenton’s family were unable to provide him with viable accommodation and care he was forced to find alternative accommodation and moved into the original House Olivier where he stayed in the garage as all the bedrooms were occupied. This did not deter Brenton who with the support of his housemates set about starting to improve himself and his
circumstances. In 2001 The Centre moved to its current premises which is where Brenton has lived ever since.

Determined to achieve something in his life, Brenton completed numerous courses and after overcoming many obstacles and with much perseverance Brenton completed his National Diploma as an Architectural Technician in December 2006.

Brenton is a student with the Mouth and Foot Painters Association, plays blowdarts regularly and loves playing chess and listening to music. Brenton currently runs the Club 500 Fundraising Project and assists with various other administrative duties in The Centre. Brenton acknowledges that he would not have been able to achieve all that he has if he did not live at The Centre.

Patrick Botto

Email: patrick@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za

Patrick was born in 1970 in the small town of Grabouw. After completing his Matric Patrick joined the South African Police Service where he became an expert in fingerprinting. A motor vehicle accident in November of 1993 left Patrick a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down with limited use of his arms. Patrick took up mouth painting in 1998 and progressed rapidly to the point where he was accepted as a student with the Switzerland-based Mouth and Foot Painters Association in 2000.

Before moving into The Centre, Patrick stayed with his family in their family house with various carers taking care of him and having to rely on the goodwill of others to assist with his transport needs. Since moving into The Centre Patrick has continued with his painting, attended
Technicon and obtained Western Province colours in darts. Patrick started the Western Province Blow Darts Association which allows people with disabilities to compete with able-bodied people. With the backing of The Centre this brand-new sport has taken off and is now enjoyed by numerous people with disabilities and able-bodied people alike.

Patrick currently controls the in-house petty cash and is the driving force behind our newly established Catering Hiring Business which he plans to expand to the point where this initiative contributes significantly towards the long term sustainability of the Centre. Patrick says that staying at The Centre has provided him with a platform to make something of his life and given him the opportunity to develop financial know-how as well as fundraising and leadership skills.

Martin Sodoms

Email: martin@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za  / vicechairperson@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za

Martin was born in 1974 in Voelklip, Hermanus but spent most of his formative years in Genadendal. Martin’s first job was as a security officer before he got a clerical job at the Kraaifontein Medicross. On Boxing Day 1996 Martin’s life changed forever when a diving accident left him paralyzed in his legs with limited use of his arms. The small house that Martin lived in with his family was not wheelchair friendly and impossible for him to return to.

Upon his release from hospital Martin moved to House Olivier, the rented house which was being utilized while The Centre was being built on its current premises. Martin was introduced to mouth painting just nine months after leaving hospital and quickly showed ability and talent. In 1999 Martin was accepted as a student with the Mouth and Foot Painters Association and in the subsequent years his undoubted talent has developed with Martin becoming a very accomplished artist.

Martin has a teenage daughter, and staying at The Centre has given him the opportunity to play a meaningful role in her life and be involved in her upbringing. Martin was one of the founders of the Wheelie Kings, a blowdarts club in the Durbanville area. Martin has the distinction of having been the first wheelchair user to be chairperson of The Centre and continues to play an active role, taking responsibility for The Centre’s Lottery Application, Facebook page and other administrative duties.

Henry Afrikaner

Email: henry@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za

My name is Henry Afrikaner and I’ve been a quadriplegic for ten years. Before my rugby accident, which left me paralysed from my neck down, I stayed in Klipheuwel with my mother and two sons. I am a c5, c6 quadriplegic and had to move from home because my mother is a single parent and didn’t have the power to assist me. I have two sons named Darren (16) and Heinrich (10) love them they mean the world to me.

I then moved into Huis Andries Olivier (a quadriplegic home) in 2014 and become a permanent resident. I learn so much from other residents they put me in charge of the kitchen and I was also chairman for one year. The house also send help me to do a pastel course and a one week course with USB ((University Of Stellenbosch). I also paint with my mouth and hope to do much better in the future.

I also playing wheelchair rugby for Maties in Stellenbosch where we took part in various tournaments in South Africa. We also take part in blow darts but the sport stop because of transport problems.

My main goal in life is to live independently and to live a normal, happy life. Hope to find myself a job to provide for my family.
My hobbies are doing paintings, watch sports, and listen to music.

Casper Erasmus

Email: casper@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/casper.erasmus.52

My name is Casper Johannes Erasmus.

I was born on the 27th of July, in Lusaka Northern Rhodesia now (Zambia) I was the only child of Mr C.J.S Erasmus & E.M Erasmus God bless their souls. Later to find out that I had a sister that was adopted at birth. I lived with my Grandparents from the age of 3 years old until the age of 6 years old. Had a heart operation and was in hospital for One & a Half years. The welfare took charge of me and I was placed into an orphanage called St Joseph’s Home for

boys. I had a normal child’s schooling and a well-disciplined upbringing in 1964 Northern Rhodesia became Zambia Life changed dramatically and I left school in Std 9 My first Job was with Duly Motors as a store’s assistant, later moved to front counter salesmen. Then I moved into construction and worked for Burton Construction as a site Forman on different projects, Hydroelectric and road construction. I then did my trade as a boilermaker on the copper mines worked underground and on the surface.

I immigrated to South Africa  in the 70’s stayed in Johannesburg until I got a temporary works permit, Moved to Welcome in the Orange Free State worked for different engineering firms, Had a Motorcycle Accident which shattered my left leg and hip, took almost two years to heal, due to this was unable to work in the engineering field. Went back to sale’s Met my dear wife God bless her soul, Got married and we had two children Son & Daughter We moved around quite a bit, Worked for the Welcome municipally, at their Water purification plant move to Sasolburg and work for AECI Transferred to Port Elizabeth as a production Forman at then Dulux Paints Left Dulux to start my own business as a safety trainer could not break the market and decided to work again was employed by Tenneco Automotive as a production superintendent. In 2000 was involved in a Motor vehicle accident and injured my spinal cord T9- T12 Tenneco  Automotive supported me and I remind on their books for three years at full pay. They then boarded me and I received an income from them until 65 Years old within this time my dear Wife and dear Son passed away God bless their souls.

My recovery was extremely difficult, and took almost 7 years Life had ended as far as I was concerned I had given up. Two years after I had accepted my disability losing my dearest Wife didn’t help and one year later losing my dearest Son was again very difficult to accept.

To this day I am so grateful for my Daughter that had to go through almost losing her dad losing her Mother and her brother and still to this day cares for her father.

There comes a time in one’s life that one has to put all these things behind one and start living again almost everything is different and one finds ways to overcome all obstacles with the help from God

I have a saying that goes like this (I am half the ‘’man’’ I was but twice the ‘’man’’ I would ever have been)

I became a resident at Quad House PE in Port Elizabeth. Became a part of an amazing team of people that had the same disability as I and even worse than me I am classified as a Paraplegic (Paralysed from the waist down) some of my fellow residents were Quadriplegics (Paralysed from the neck down). This in itself was an eye opener.

Where and what am I today: Where

I now live in Durbanville Cape Town and a resident at House Andries Olivier Quadriplegic Centre in Durbanville I am Home I am Happy excited and part of an amazing group of positive self-motivated individuals who love and care about each other and work as a team (Together we can move mountains)

Who: I am a positive, motivated, free spirited individual and loving life in a Wheelchair. Grateful for what I have God is my rock

Louis Choonoo

Email: louis@durbanvillequadriplegiccentre.co.za

Facebook: //www.facebook.com/louis.choonoo.5

My name is Louis Choonoo I’m living here at Huis Andries Olivier (Quadriplegic Centre in Durbanville).

I had a fall in the year 2010 where I slipped off a height and injured my spine.

I’m living here because this place is suitable because I’m a paraplegic T9 level injury. My families place is not wheelchair friendly.

I’m an easy to get along with person, positive and always adventurous to trying new things. I at times enjoy being crafty making wood-burning pictures, mosaics and beaded items which I sell on markets if the season is appropriate.

I enjoy living here at Huis Andries Olivier I enjoy the company of my fellow residents we all work together to being functional at the house. My duties at the house are managing the bookstall on a monthly basis to raise funds for the house. I also assist with the hiring of the houses catering equipment and our houses transport.

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