He now gets his food via tubes and relieves himself through the same. He cannot see; neither can he walk nor talk. The right side of his body is paralysed. He is constantly pulling off his excretory tubes with his functional hand.
His cousin, Enoch Kachindamoto, has to standby all the time.
Such is the tragedy of Robert Dickson, 26, once a jovial and bustling bass guitarist. When My God is good artist, Nigerian Uche-Chukwu Agu, recently came to Malawi on the Calvary Family Churchâ€™s (CFC) ticket, the church hired Robertâ€™s band to boost the CFC Praise Teamâ€™s back-up capabilities.
After a performance in Lilongwe and on their way to a concert at Robins Park in Blantyre, the vehicle they were travelling in was involved in a fatal accident at Phalula in Balaka on May 19.
One band member died, and the concert was postponed indefinitely.
Weeks later, Robert is still stuck in a dark world and his family says the church is not doing enough to help them.
The family transferred Robert from Zomba Central Hospital to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre where they thought they would get better attention and be closer to relatives.
“We have been told that we will be discharged anytime soon. We are only getting Panado, but what happens if we go home now? He only eats through tubes and needs the catheter to relieve himself.
“We are at a dead end. We wish he was sent abroad for further treatment because he sustained brain injuries. But all we get are erratic visits from the church and so far they have only given us K10 000 (about $40). We feel itâ€™s not enough,” said Kachindamoto.
The cousin, who had to be roped in from Ntakataka, Dedza, to be Robertâ€™s guardian, also expressed the fear that the village is not the best place to send him because drugs are scarce at the health facility.
He also said both Robertâ€™s parents are unemployed, a situation he said aggravates their dilemma.
However, CFC Blantyre resident pastor, Christopher Hora, said the allegations are misplaced because Robert is not a member of the church.
“The church hired and paid his band. If anything, itâ€™s the band that is to be responsible, but we have been with him in Zomba and here. We give them something for upkeep and visit them frequently,” he said.
Hora said doctors told him that a scan shows that it is the injuries in Robertâ€™s head that have paralysed his right side.
He said the healing is gradual and Robert may require an operation abroad because Malawi does not have advanced neurosurgeons.
He said the trip abroad is based on the recommendation of a local surgeon. But Hora said the church cannot afford to send him abroad even if a surgeon recommended it.
Leader of the CFC Praise Team could not be reached for his side of the story.