How do you react when something terrible happens to you?

A few months ago, a lovely young woman named Zetty, who lives in Knysna South Africa was walking with a friend in her township. Suddenly, a truck backed into her, running over both her legs.

Zetty was one of Project COLORS’ past mentorship youth, who always volunteered, took care of the animals and helped others in her community.

Hospitalized with both her legs in casts, Zetty was very sad and had a overwhelming feeling of helplessness. We went to see her to give some encouragement and crafting supplies from COLORS to help her feel productive. Zetty was unable to move from her bed, but she sat daily working with her small handy craft supplies and made old, broken jewellery into new beautiful treasures.

She took great pride in what she had created.

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(Zetty playing with her niece a month before being run over by a drunk driver)

There was a major problem when Zetty was finally sent home. Her house is tiny and many people share it with her. It was not wheelchair accessible.

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COLORS was able to use extra donor and emergency funds from the Whalen and Choyce families to buy the materials needed to create a deck and wheel chair ramp (costing under $200). Her family and community helped with the construction.

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(Zetty’s nephew giving us the thumbs up after the wheelchair ramp and deck were created)

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When visiting Zetty, who was adorned with the recycled jewellery she had created, she said:

“You know, I was sitting looking at my legs that are such a mess, and I realized this is not just a mess it is a message. I look at my life now so differently. I appreciate each moment something good happens to me.

When I was depressed, sad and hurt, a miracle happened and I was given craft supplies to make me still feel useful, and I made beautiful things. I made a crafting workshop around my hospital bed, and I taught the other sick people around me how to also create the jewellery.

Then, when I thought I could not go back to my house because of accessibility, everyone came together to make sure I had a wheelchair ramp so I could be back with my family.

I heard a ‘message’ loud and clear. A message that I must do good things with my life, no matter how small, to help make life better for others.

These gifts all made a big difference to me and I will always look for small ways to pass this on to others. So this mess is really a message”

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(Zetty and her daughter with her newly made recycled jewelry)

Zetty is currently healing in her home in South Africa. We hope she will one day walk again but one thing is for sure, she will continue to spread her message.