South Africa

Caregiver is given the opportunity to learn how to drive

Lavocia Nkosi looks after well-known author Tracy Todd Heine, who is paralysed from the neck down.

“Tracy wants to stop depending on friends and family to get around. That is why she thought it would be a great idea if I learned to drive,” Nkosi told Lowvelder.

Todd Heine added, “I need to be independent. Lavocia is a good cook and she loves trying out new recipes.

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Once she knows how to drive, we could quickly run to the shop to buy missing ingredients for a new recipe instead of having to plan two to three days ahead for a store visit.

“Driving is a great life skill for a woman. Every woman should be independent. Besides, if this is the only thing I have helped her achieve while I am alive, then I would have done something good.”

Nkosi is learning to drive with L2L Training Consultants.

“One of the driving instructors helped me with obtaining my learner’s licence. I really over-studied for the test, because I was nervous. But I am glad I did. It is good to know all the road signs,” Nkosi said.

“Firstly they are teaching me how to drive with their car. When I have obtained my driver’s licence, they will then teach me how to drive the bus for Tracy. It is a bigger vehicle than a normal car.”

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She is nervous about driving Heine around. “It will be my first time driving and I have to start with her. I will be taking full responsibility for her and I have to be very careful.”

Nkosi has been caring for Todd Heine for the past 10 years. “When I met her in 2010, it was the first time I met a quadriplegic. Working with her has been a good new experience for me,” she said.