Help Violet with specialist Physiotherapy

We are trying to raise £1,500 as soon as possible so that Violet an inspiring Zimbabwean young woman and family friend can have the necessary physiotherapy following a second operation to deal SYRINGOMYELIA. This is a disorder in which a cyst forms within the spinal cord that can expand over time destroying the spinal cord. If untreated this is life threatening and includes increased and severe pain, loss of sensation, bladder dysfunction, dysaesthesia and other conditions.

We will really appreciate it if you can take the time to read her story.

Our family became friends with the Mandipaza family in the 1980’s when Keith and Chris taught in Zimbabwe during which time our daughter, Rosie was born within 2 months of Violet at the same Mission Hospital.

Violet is a 32 year old Zimbabwean and paraplegic following a car accident in 2013 just after she gained a BSc in Agricultural Science (post-harvest technology and food security). Her father had died unexpectedly in 2012 leaving Violet’s mother to look after Violet and her two sisters one of whom has a Learning Disability. Violet’s mother is a subsistence farmer living 10 kilometres from Nyazura, a small town accessed by ‘dirt’ road.

Despite the enormous daily challenges including having a complex operation to address the Syringomyelia in 2017,Violet successfully gained a Masters in Development Studies at the Women’s University in Harare (to which she had to find lifts in her wheel chair every weekend during semesters). 

She also supports other disabled people in her community by holding peer support meetings and using her knowledge to empower others to become more self-sufficient e.g. growing vegetables. Violet is a charismatic, optimistic and cheerful person determined to succeed.

In recent months Violet has once again been suffering severe pain, loss of feeling and other signs of Syringomyelia resulting in her not being able to take up her PhD studies.

She has met with the neurosurgeon who carried out the operation, managed to access funds for another MRI scan that showed the Syringomyelia is progressing and causing more damage to the spine!

The Medical Aid Society have fortunately just agreed to provide compassionate funding to enable another operation carried out on Friday 7th June! To date (10th May) it looks like the operation has been successful!

A kind and generous family friend has provided for the cost of staying in hospital (Avenues Clinic Harare) post operation.

Violet will thereafter require specialist physio-rehabilitation. Can you please help raise the funds for this including transport to and from Harare and accommodation?

Times are hard in Zimbabwe. On her mother's farm-plot the maize crop failed due to too much rain earlier in the year and the tobacco was pretty well wiped out by torrential rain and wind due to Cyclone Idai (they were on the outer edge of the cyclone)

Fuel prices have increased by just under 200% since January 2019 and the inflation rate soared to 75% in April 2019.

With the operation having taken place on 7th June physio will need to start very soon after! 

Can you also please forward to as many contacts as possible and share the GoFundMe link via social media. Many thanks.

Keith Coulston, Chris, Rosie & Billy

Masters ceremony

pre-op daily routine
Road to Violet's home

Donations (0)

  • Anonymous 
    • £500 (Offline)
    • 18 d
  • Paul Barnes 
    • £110 
    • 23 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £30 
    • 24 d
  • SmileStar charity 
    • £500 (Offline)
    • 25 d
  • Anonymous 
    • £30 (Offline)
    • 1 mo


Keith Coulston 
Tavistock, South West England, United Kingdom
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