Wheelchair user keeps others rolling - Doesn’t let disability stop him from earning a living
After becoming paralysed in 2001, 55-year-old Lennox Edwards decided that he was not going to be crippled by his reality.
Two years later, he taught himself how to fix motorised wheelchairs and other electronics and is still managing to make strides 17 years later.
"It usually cost me a whole heap a money to fix my wheelchair when it broke down and it did a get to me head because me never a work again. One day me chair break down and the man that fix come to my house and me just sit down and watch him a fix. And from that me learn the basics," Edwards told THE STAR.
He then decided to further his basic knowledge by seeking some assistance.
"From that the sky was the limit because I had a love for electronics. Me go a this organisation at Hanover Street name PARADOF (Paraplegic Development and Outreach Foundation) and them help me to get a tester and it come with a booklet that show me how to use it," he said. "From there me just keep on moving at Hanover Street and teach myself the trade and when the organisation get motorised chair from Food For The Poor, me fix them until me get good at it."
Before becoming paralysed, Edwards was employed at the Shell depot in Rockfort. His life changed after being shot at a dance.
"A little feud develop between two guys that I know and I was trying to part them," he said. "I hold on to one of them and was carrying him away and the other one run we down and start fire wild shot and hit me in my back. When me wake up in the hospital me couldn't feel my legs and the doctor say me paralyse. Me couldn't work or anything so it was rough. I was just depending on my sister in England and some friends to assist me and me is a man that like to work for myself."
He was able to do that at PARADOF, where he has steadily moved up the ranks over the years.
"Me get a certificate from the institution after that me get promoted to be a instructor and them send me go couple small island go do assessment for them," he said. "Me get so advanced too that even the same guy who me get the basic teaching from start call me to help him when some work too hard for him."
Edwards has been working from his Dunkirk home Kingston since the COVID outbreak.
"So anybody can bring their chair or electronics," he said. "I don't do the chair alone because there is not a lot of them in the island and I need money to be flowing. So I fix like radio and computers. I'm just happy I decided to take this trade on because it changed my life a lot. I'm able to provide for myself and three children."