Cape Town - New hope is ahead for Agnes Gidi, a morbidly obese Nyanga pensioner who has been bedridden for more than a decade.
The Department of Human Settlements, the National Home Builders Registration Council and various sponsors are to demolish her home and build her a new house, deputy minister of human settlements Zou Kota-Fredericks announced on Tuesday.
The Cape Argus first wrote about Gidi’s plight last July.
The 73-year-old grandmother, who also suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, has lived with her seven-year-old great grandson, Avethandwa Cekiso, since her husband’s death in 2007. She had not ventured outside her bedroom for a decade and was dependent on her grandson and neighbours for household tasks such as cooking, bathing and cleaning.
She became trapped in her bed after her excessive weight rendered her immobile in 2003.
Two years later she stopped taking her medication because she became so big she could not use public transport to get to the clinic. She cannot fit into a wheelchair.
Faith Sikobi of the National Home Builders Registration Council said they would be working with the department to make sure Gidi “has a proper living area where she can move around”.
Gidi’s house will be demolished and rebuilt with handrails to help her get around the house. Gidi will be consulted throughout the process, said Sikobi.
Gidi is at Lentegeur Hospital in Mitchells Plain where she is receiving treatment.
Her grandson, Thoso Mojeane, 27, told the Cape Argus Gidi had been admitted to the hospital in February. She had broken her leg in 1998.
“Breaking her leg slowed her down. From then on she gained more weight and got bigger. We started doing the cooking with my grandfather because she couldn’t walk around the house any more… at some point she couldn’t get out of bed.”
Thoso said he was “overwhelmed” with joy that his grandmother would come home to a new house.
“We don’t like seeing her like this. Now she will be able to walk around her house, she is going to love that.” Sikobo said the home was expected to be built in a week.