Tough life for 66-year-old wheelchair-bound man 

By Nefertiti Matatia 23 February 2018, 12:00AM

Hardship, struggles and poverty has left a father of four worried about his family’s future. 

Emosi Leasi Tufu’e is especially concerned about the condition of his home. 

He lives in a house with rusted iron roofing. The floor is a challenge because it is not concrete.

And for someone like Emosi, 66, who uses a wheelchair to move around, it makes life even harder. He shared his challenges with The Weekend Observer.

“I am sick; my feet are not as strong as before but we have so many things that we need fixing in our home,” he said.

“My house is a wreck, the iron roofing of the house is not good, it has become rusty and it leaks when it rains.

“Where can I find the money to replace it is the question?”

He added that the timber used as a floor of his house is crooked.

“There are gaps which are hard for me to move around in the house,” he said.

“The gaps are so big that it allows the dust to enter the house, even the mats we use cannot stop the dust from entering, and this could cause illness. 

There are children who also live there.

He says hardship has robbed him of his happiness.

“We are always trying despite how poor we are," he said. 

"We have so many problems such as the water that barely comes on and the bathroom as well.

“I struggle to get around things; our bathroom is outside and there is no pathway to the bathroom.

“They call me a cripple, but I still slide around trying to work on my plantation and still move my body because if I do nothing I will become more sick. My legs may not work but hands still function."

Emosi says the roof of their kitchen was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita and they are seeking help to fix this too.

He added that regardless of his condition, he still tries to work on his plantation so he could help his family.

His illness brought so many challenges.

He shared that ever since he became sick, his wife had left him and re-married.

“We are left with nothing, but to be dependent on Christ to give us the strength each day, Jesus came to the lowest place there is.

“So despite how poor I am, I want to stay here with my mother’s family and help them. There is a saying that the roots of the tree connects one person to the other, so as long as I have my family, I will manage.

“I slide around and try to fix our problems. I am thankful for the wheelchair that was given to me by La’auli Polata’ivao Schmidt.”

The house he lives in belongs to his mother’s brother, and he moved there with his two sons, while his two daughters live with their mother.

Only his son works in their family.

By Nefertiti Matatia 23 February 2018, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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