Manchester mom seeks help to replace broken artificial leg
Despite the absence of an arm and a leg, Sheryl Walters has always been an independent woman, working day jobs to sustain herself and help provide for her two children.
But for the past year this has become increasingly hard as the prosthetic leg that she has relied on for the past 12 years broke, rendering her almost immobile and unable to work.
Having had to contend with challenges of living with missing limbs since birth, the 47-year-old said she learnt from early to defy the odds, and overcome the limitations placed on her by others.
"My mom said she was taking some medication and didn't know that she was pregnant and that's why I was born like this. As a child it wasn't easy because some people look down on you and laugh at you, and I had to learn how to walk and pull on this knee and I also had to learn to help myself," Walters told THE STAR.
"I have never regretted being born this way. God knows his reason for making me His way and I always accept myself for who I am. To persons with disabilities, I know sometimes it is not easy, but with God all things are possible."
Through the kindness of a church member, Walters said she got her first artificial leg at age 12, the first of two prostheses, which helped her to transition to a state of greater independence.
"My knee would be bruised from walking on it, and Brother Denny Isaacs from the Asia SDA Church put on a concert to raise funds for me to get a new leg...I learned to iron, cook -- peel yam, banana, cut up chicken, comb hair -- do basically everything for myself. There is only one thing that I still can't do and that is scale fish," Walters said laughingly.
It was this skill set that allowed her to successfully work as a caregiver for babies and the elderly and raised her own two children, now aged 17 and 19.
"It is very challenging for me to move around now because if I'm going anywhere I have to charter a car to take me to and from. When I am home I have to have my son or my niece or nephew help me. My daughter is no longer here with me, she is abroad with her dad... It's one year now, and sometimes it is difficult to earn money to buy things for myself," the mother of two said.
According to Walters, her heavy dependence on others because of her inability to move freely weighs on her mentally.
"The prosthesis is patched, I can only move from in the house to the verandah and I'm taking a chance. I can't go anywhere else with it. If I get a new prosthesis it would help me to move about freely and go and get something to do to help myself... I would love to get it as soon as possible," she said.
Walters has contacted Surgix, a leading company in the production and fitting of prosthetic solutions, which has provided a quote of $570,000 for the prosthetic leg. She is appealing to members of the public to assist her in regaining her independence.
To assist Sheryl Walters call (876) 285-1931 or make donations at:
Manchester Co-operative Credit Union
Name on Acc: Sheryl Walters