THAILAND — Jackie was born in a small village in Thailand as a healthy typical boy. He could walk until he was five years old. “Then he started to fall down again and again. I didn’t really think much about it since I’m the village leader, I am responsible for everyone. I just thought he would be okay,” explains Jackie’s father Ekkachai. Now, Jackie cannot walk or get up on his own. He has no strength and desperately needed a wheelchair.
The doctor told Jackie’s parents he has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)— a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. Most people with DMD do not live past 30 years and there is no cure.
After a 3-hour journey, Jackie’s mom brought him to Joni & Friends Wheels for the World™ distribution filled with hope and eager to receive his first wheelchair.
Like most people in Thailand, Jackie and his family are Buddhist, but that day, they received more than just a wheelchair— they learned about the love and hope of Jesus and were given Bible in their language!
Jackie’s mother Wandee shared, “I am glad that Jackie could get a wheelchair. He is so excited. He likes it a lot!” Ekkachai added, “This wheelchair helps in so many ways. Now he wheels himself into the house and will attend school again. He no longer has to rely on us to carry him.”
Ekkachai Nantaratsamee – Jackie’s Father
Jackie was born typical. He could walk and talk when he was five years old. Then he started to fall down again and again. I didn’t really think much about it since I’m the village leader. I’m responsible for everyone. I just thought he’d be okay. Gradually he has shown more and more struggles. Now he cannot walk. When he falls he cannot move. He cannot get up. He has no strength.
Wandee Nantaratsamee – Jackie’s Mother
If we leave the house we leave him lying here all day long. For him to get into the house or go to the bathroom I have to carry him and then carry him out at meal times. But when I lift him it hurts my back a lot. The doctor says he has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Every day I draw pictures. I like to go to school. I’d like to get a new wheelchair by myself.
Narrator: After a three hour journey arrive to the Wheels For The World distribution filled with hope and eager to receive his first wheelchair.
After hours of work Jackie is finally lifted into his very own wheelchair. Like most in Thailand, Jackie and his family are Buddhist. But that day they received more than just the wheelchair. They learned about the hope of Jesus.
Sometimes Jackie’s disability makes me discouraged and even in despair. But they encouraged me to press on. They gave me so much strength. I was speechless and overwhelmed with joy. What makes me happy is that they are helping hands. Taking time to teach me physical therapy. This means so much more than just receiving a wheelchair.
I am glad that Jackie could get a wheelchair. He is so excited. He likes it a lot.
This wheelchair helps in so many ways. Now he can wheel into the house. He can attend school again. He no longer has to rely on us to carry him.
Read more news on Thailand and Disability on Missions Box.
About Joni and Friends
For 40 years, Joni and Friends has provided the hope of the Gospel and practical resources to people affected by disability around the globe. Ministry programs include Wheels for the World, Family Retreats, the Christian Institute on Disability, and church ministry training. Joni and Friends also delivers inspirational media such as the Joni and Friends radio program and podcasts. To find out more, please visit www.joniandfriends.org.
- Global News Alliance, Wheelchair Transforms The Life of Jackie From Thailand
- Joni & Friends, Official Website