Disabled dad still superhero in his kids’ eyes

Lehlogonolo Tshia and his father, Patrick, love to spend time together.

POLOKWANE – Patrick Tshia, a father of three, differs slightly from other fathers as he only has one arm.

His youngest daughter has started asking as to why he only has one arm and Patrick says he has to be careful when he explains it to her. “I tell her what she needs to know for now and will explain more at a later stage. She loves to spend time with me and often falls asleep in my arms.”

“My oldest child is 26 and my youngest is two. My son, Lehlogonolo, turns 16 on Father’s Day,” he says with a smile.

Patrick lost his arm nearly 20 years ago in a car accident but he explains that it does not keep him back.

“There are times that I cannot do certain things as a dad, like running around with my children or catching a rugby ball. But my children are really God-given and the best presents I could ever receive,” he says.

He says that he struggles to carry heavy loads and cannot train soccer with Lehlogonolo.

Patrick values time with his family and often takes them on road trips where they love to explore and recently took everyone to Durban.

He is dedicated to assist others with disabilities and believes that his disability teaches his children things that others do not know.

“They learn how to work with a disabled person and how to respect the person. On my mother’s side I have an uncle who is disabled and my father has a disabled brother.”

As they are very family-orientated, they love to spend time together on Father’s Day when they braai or go to a park and have fun.

“My advice to other disabled dads is to give all your love to your children. You might not be able to fulfill all their needs, but you can give them love. Teach them courtesy toward disability and teach them respect. Look at your own ability, you can be a father despite your disability.”

 

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  AUTHOR
Maretha Swanepoel
Journalist

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