A brother’s care for his sister

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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BROTHERLY LOVE AND CARE: Stella Avia with her loving brother, Sefo Avia at their house at Leauva’a.

BROTHERLY LOVE AND CARE: Stella Avia with her loving brother, Sefo Avia at their house at Leauva’a.

A brother who has been an unselfish chief caregiver for his sister for six years is now getting help thanks to the Samoa Victims Support Group (S.V.S.G.). 

Mr Avia is now under the Caregivers Training offered by the Samoa Victims Support Group.organisation.

Avia thanked the S.V.S.G. for their help. He said he has learnt different things from them, especially how to prevent his sister Stella from getting bed sores and helping to prevent her getting sick. 

He has realized that there are lots of different techniques of how to handle people with disabilities. 

He also thanked the S.V.S.G. for their help and support in donating a wheelchair to help him move Stella around and also to take her to church. 

It is very hard to find people like Sefo Avia who does his work out of love and compassion. 

Growing up seeing his mother looking after his baby sister, Avia now finds himself in her role.

Being a single male of 45 years old, Avia said he thanks God for the many years he has had to enable him his life to care for his sick sister. 

Avia is the third of eight siblings, four brothers and five sisters. 

Stella Avia is the baby of the family, she is 26 years of age she has suffered from “epilepsy and cerebral palsy” since she was 7 years old. 

Mr Avia said that in that year, his sister was confined to her bed.

She couldn’t walk, sit, eat or talk. 

“I saw how my mother cared for her when she was still    that’s when I learned how to do the same work,” said Mr Avia. 

And when his mother passed away in 2010, Mr Avia has continued the care for his baby sister. 

Avia said the hardest part of his work was the problem that she was unable to talk. 

But he said that caring for her for many years, helped him learn how to communicate with her. 

“I have learned to know when she is hungry and when she wants to go somewhere,” he said. 

“I bathe her two times a day and I also cut her hair short because it’s hot,” he added. 

Avia said his normal routine is the same every morning.

He prepares her breakfast and bathes her before her afternoon nap and the same thing when she wakes up later. 

“I make sure she has three meals a day,” said Avia. 

The most challenging part of my job is preparing her food. 

Avia said he needs to make sure everything is clean, blend her food blender and feed her. 

“It takes two hours feeding her,” he added.

And have there been times when he felt like giving up he was asked? 

Avia said no because his mother never gave up on of any of them. 

“I don’t think there’s been any day that I would like to have had to myself or when I have been tired of caring for her. I just pity her because of her condition and it’s my job to make her feel the life that we have is enjoyable.” 

Avia said he thanked God for giving him the courage every day to do what he loves to do and it’s because of his loving care of Stella, she hasn’t had to receive any medical treatment. 

He said he only buys liquid panadol for her if she gets a fever, but he has never had to take her to the hospital for any other treatment. 

Avia believes that his sister is much healthier because of his care.. 

Avia’s cousin Selepa Esera, praised her cousin’s work. 

She said she admires him because of the kind of man he is and the kind of love that he has. 

“I can’t remember if there’s been any time I have seen him doing what he wants and not caring for Stella,” said Ms Esera.  “He is one of the most shy guys that I have ever known and I couldn’t be more grateful for the work that he does,” she added. 

Ms Esera said every day she gets to see her cousin doing his work happily. 

“I never hear him complain,” she said. 

Ms Esera said sometimes she helps out her cousin by feeding her but Stella eats slowly and angrily because she knows her brother is not feeding her. 

“She is very close to her brother because all he does is be with her every day,” added Ms Esera. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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