Regional

I don't want to sit and beg

... Amputee David Daley fights adversity by making his own way

BY KATRICH WALKER
Observer writer

Monday, July 15, 2019

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Thirty-six-year-old amputee, David Daley, is determined to support his family and himself despite having to live with one leg.

“Cause, I tell myself, I don't want to sit and beg,” he told The Jamaica Observer Central.

Daley who was born in Newell, St Elizabeth, came under scrutiny when family members saw from early that one foot was longer than the other. Another abnormality was that his right foot had four toes.

Alarm further set in, when doctors informed Daley's family that if he continued to walk using both feet, he would eventually suffer adverse effects on his spine.

He spent time receiving treatment at the Mona Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston from he was nine years old and then the heart-breaking decision was taken to remove his right foot.

Daley was then given a prosthesis (artificial leg) but in time he found the artificial limb unbearably uncomfortable, so he stopped using it.

The way Daley tells it, one day he became inspired to ride a bicycle when he saw a one-legged man selling newspapers while riding.

For 22 years since then, Daley has been riding a bicycle, finding it useful in performing a variety of tasks.

Daley drew on his strength and that of family members and started to transport children to school on his bicycle. This began when his mother asked him to take his younger brother to school and neighbours who saw him assisting his brother asked if he could take their children to school as well, and Daley responded by becoming a well-needed mode of transport; a task he did for 14 years.

He then moved on to transporting cooking gas, eggs, and other items on his bicycle for community members.

That was not all for Daley as he has also tried his hand at car washing, electrical work, welding, raising goats and chickens, selling eggs, construction, making and selling items such as peanut drops and peanut cakes.

Some of these jobs, he is still doing to take care of his family, says Daley, who currently lives in Northampton, St Elizabeth, with his wife, Monique and two-year-old daughter Zonnique.

He freely admits that coping with just one leg isn't easy.

“A lot of people see me riding on one foot and think it's easy, but it wasn't easy. Is not something like if yu foot cut off today, you can jump on a bicycle tomorrow. No, it takes a whole lot,” Daley shared with this publication.

He also recognises that his life can be an example for others who have to deal with severe adversity.

“Whatsoever you are doing you got to come from deep within,” he told Observer Central. “You got to make up your mind that I'm gonna do this… and don't mek nobody stop you, don't look at yourself like, 'hey this happened to me, it's the end of the world'. No, it's not the end of the world. We can all rise up,” Daley said.

He is also challenging able-bodied persons to do better in life.

“You can get up and do something. There's so much that you can do. I meet people who come to me even begging me money and saying 'nothing nah gwaan'. Come on, nuttin nah gwaan if you sit down every day an' say nuttin nah gwaan. Get up and do something, seek, go out and reach out and somebody will help you. You will get a work from somebody. You affi mek something gwaan because if I did tell myself that, where would I be?”

Nathalie Jordon, a business owner in Goshen, St Elizabeth supports Daley by being a regular customer, buying eggs from him.

“He's a really hard-working person,” said Jordan. “He is dedicated to trying to make something for himself. He's coming from a humble background and him just tell himself say him nah go out deh go do no wrong. Him ah go work hard and do something. So me kinda really proud of where he's coming from and his achievements and he's still trying to go,” she added.

Daley says an abiding wish is to be able to do things that will motivate people. He enjoys sitting with other people with disabilities and trying to help them lift their self-esteem.


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