Today it is child number 3 going through Moryn’s hands of love. She was brought into Nazareth Children’s home at the age of 5 by a probation officer and police. They told the authorities at the home that this child had gotten lost so she’d been kept by them at the children’s department for 2 days hoping that someone would come and claim her. However, no one did so they decided to bring her to the home. This girl could not talk or hear and she seemed to have mental challenges.
As the days at the home wore on, a few weeks, she was given a name, Emmanuella, since no one knew her name. It was in these weeks at the home that Moryn got a chance to interact with her and also noticed that Emmanuella had some mental issues for at 5 years, she never said a word but murmured to herself all day. In addition to that, she had not learned any toilet manners therefore diapers were in order. She always seemed to be in her own little world barely noticing the people around her. The cherry on top of this already not good cake was that she experienced rather nasty seizures on a daily basis.
Emmanuella was taken to the main hospital in Masaka and the diagnosis revealed that she had epilepsy and due to neglect from her form caretakers, this condition had worsened hence affecting her body and brain abilities. So the doctor told them that apart from medicine to cub the seizures and epilepsy on a whole, there was nothing much to be done.
This report was very discouraging but Moryn refused to resign herself to the doctor’s word and do nothing. This is because, deep within her, she believes that with a special needs child, one can only say there is nothing I can do after all the available support and resources have been exhausted. It is with that renewed energy that Moryn embarked on a journey to do all she could in order to improve Emma’s life. What gave Moryn more hope was the fact that there was now a way to control the seizures and she had not lost her ability to walk.
However, because Emma was experiencing mental challenges, she had to be taught everything, such as how to eat food, where to find her bed and the like. Moryn and the other caretakers at the home then decided on a plan regarding how to help Emma gain what she should have already learned naturally at that age. This plan was to be implemented for the next 2 years. With patience, Emma was taught how to pick food from a plate and put it into her mouth seeing that whenever she was given food, she threw it on the ground where she would then start picking it from to eat. She needed constant reminding as well regarding where her bed was since most times she ended up in other people’s beds. She also needed to learn how to drink and actually swallow as this seemed foreign to her. Then there was the issue of sensitizing the rest of the children about her so that they would include her in their daily activities such as playing as a way to keep her engaged.
In 2011, Moryn and the authorities at the home thought it wise to enroll Emma in a special needs school because having her in the home the whole day was taxing yet also the other children needed their attention. It was also thought that help from more qualified people would do her good. She was enrolled into the school and there is no day they regret that decision because the improvements in her life are evident. For example, she can now do simple chores like help put dishes up in a rack, she has learned how to use the potty as long as it is put the same place and she can also afford to give a smile lately.
The journey unlike the first children such as Bridget and Nakato is still far from over but Moryn says that improvements such as not throwing food on the ground can be seen. However, she still has challenges taking some drinks, she can not play with other children but she will gladly sit and watch them play. The journey has been quite difficult; there are times when they grow weary when the milestones take longer to be achieved and because the future is uncertain. However, Moryn and the rest of the caretaking crew still soldier on as any guardian would.
Emma is now 10 years and it has taken her all these 10 years to learn the things she knows now and it will probably take her more years to learn a few other new things. However, Moryn says that they have hope and faith in God, and she knows that with the love and patience given, Emma will get better.