Post Date: 21st Feb, 2011 - 5:04pm
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My Special Needs Brother
What a wonderful, touching story for a change! What a sensitive young man. His parents must be very proud.
KUMAR Seegulam was planning to work and save money for one year so that he could study dentistry at the Mt Hope Medical Sciences Complex from next year.
The announcement of national scholarships last week, however, changed his life, bringing pleasure to his parents and hope to his 12-year-old brother who suffers with cerebral palsy.
Seegulam was one of the 14 pupils of Presentation College, San Fernando, who received scholarships. He passed mathematics, physics, chemistry, Caribbean Studies/communications with distinction.
Recalling the news of his scholarship yesterday, his mother Asha said: "Somebody called him on the phone, then I saw him go to the altar and pray and then he turned to me and said he got the scholarship."
Although, his father, Chaitram, a supervisor in the construction industry, was the only breadwinner in the family and life was sometimes challenging financially, Seegulam said he had adjusted to what they had.
"I would not say we are poor, because we have the love and support of loved ones, relatives, friends, neighbours and most importantly the blessings of God," he said.
He added: "We live within our humble means and we are happy to make do with what little we have. My parents have inspired me to be able to reach out to others and they always remind me that there are many people who have much less than we have."
Seegulam, of Mission Road, Freeport, intends to specialise in maxillofacial surgery (relating to the upper jaw and face) after attaining his first degree.
He chose this field after agonising day after day over the anguish of his younger brother, Kiran, who suffers with cerebral palsy. Kiran is unable to communicate because of a loss or deficiency of motor control with involuntary spasms caused by permanent brain damage.
Seegulam said his family had suffered together with his brother and "nobody can help him".
His brother's teeth and jaws have deteriorated because of the medicine he takes, "but he cannot get surgery at Mt Hope because they have him on a list for three years, and now they said they are doing only emergency cases. The family cannot afford to go private and even that is difficult because nobody would accept his (Kiran's) case to reconstruct his jaw because of his illness".
Seegulam's worry about his brother was so profound that he decided to become a dentist so he would be able to reconstruct his brother's jaw.
"My brother was my inspiration in my choice of career," he said.