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Brain damaged teenager continues to beat the odds amid covid-19 hardships

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Most people will not remember the tragic story of Brian Diamond, who as a toddler was shot through the head in gang warfare outside of his Heinz Park home in July of 2006.  Three year old, Brian was playing in his grandmother’s front yard when a bullet ripped through his head and removed more than half of his brain. Brian was put on a life support machine and given only three days to live. Miraculously as doctors were preparing to turn off his machine, Brian gained consciousness and against all odds celebrated his 17th birthday at the weekend. However, since the incident, brain-damaged and quadriplegic Brian has been confined to either a wheelchair or more recently his bed.

Brain’s mother, Ronelle Diamond who was also shot during the incident said the gangsters who caused the heinous crime were never caught.

“It all took place on a Sunday afternoon. We were enjoying the sun and Brian was playing beside me, at that point I was aware that the gangsters were being hostile toward each other but I never imagined our lives would change so drastically,” said Diamond.

Ronelle was shot in the lower back.

“The gangsters that were caught turned out to be the wrong men and they were let free and the case came to a grinding halt,” sighed a defeated Diamond.

It has been a difficult road for Ronelle to take care of Brian and her three other children. She said she can’t find work because Brian is completely helpless and needs to be cared for around the clock.

“He was at Red Cross Children’s Hospital for three months and then at Groote Scuur for another three months. The court wanted to remove him from my care because I was 17 at the time but my mother stepped in and said she would help me raise him and we have been doing our best ever since,” stated Diamond.

Brain’s grandmother, Mary Waterloo detailed that Brain has outgrown his wheelchair and now finds himself laying for the most part of the day. This has caused severe obscure morphing of his lower body.

“Brian would need a specialized wheelchair to help unmangle his limbs,” said Waterloo.

Waterloo continued by saying that COVID-19 has caused even further distress on the unemployed family of ten.

“I can’t go out and do any domestic work because people won’t accept me into their homes because they’re afraid I have the virus and I don’t want to sit in queues in the clinic because then I might sit next to someone who has the disease and then contract it by accident. It is a nightmare,” said Waterloo.

Since the story was shared on our social media pages. Brian’s family has seen a huge outpour of donors. His story has even gained traction from Springbok captain Siya Kolisi. Ronelle has thanked the Voice of the Cape listeners profusely and asked them to continue donating generously.

The family can be contacted on 0681658815.

Donations can be made directly into Brian’s account:

Capitec

Account number: 1143650083

Branch number: 470010


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