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28 March 2011

Driving William at The Labia

The documentary ‘Driving William’ will be screened at the Labia Theatre on 2 April as a fundraiser for William Smith, a local boy in dire need of prosthetic arms.

Why would a 12-year-old boy climb up a high voltage power pylon? If you’re a curious William Smith who has a fascination with birds, the answer is: to retrieve a nest. Reaching up for that nest is the last thing William remembers before regaining consciousness at The Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.

William's severe electrocution resulted in a double arm amputation and 4 months in the Red Cross Burns Unit undergoing intensive rehabilitation. It was also an important period of redefining himself and adapting to a life without arms.

"William is the bravest and most determined child I have ever worked with!' says Sascha Archer, art therapist at Red Cross. `William's recovery has been miraculous. He paints and writes with his mouth and feet, has learnt to swim like a dolphin in the Red Cross pool, plays music with his feet, takes photographic self-portraits with his chin, has learnt to speak fluent English and has mastered using a laptop with a pen in his mouth."

Sascha, looking for ways to give William a voice to help him express what he has endured and overcome, met with filmmaker Jo Higgs from Go Trolley Films. Jo agreed to make a documentary after meeting William who she describes as, "an extraordinary young man with an exuberant sense of humor," Go Trolley films captures the struggles, accomplishments and joys of William's rehabilitation in addition to visiting his home, meeting friends and family in a rural grape growing district.

The documentary is now complete and has been titled `Driving William'. Members of the public are invited to watch William's inspirational journey at a screening of `Driving William' at the Labia Theater on Saturday 2 April.

The screenings will be used to raise funds for William's future prosthesis and additionally the movie will be used as a motivational tool in hospitals like Red Cross to inspire and give hope to future amputee and burns patients.

Date: 2 April
Times: 18h30 & 19h30

Venue: Labia Theater.

Tickets: R50: Please reserve seats in advance by calling 021 424 5927 (seating is limited)

All proceeds from the screenings go into the William Smith Friends of the Children's Hospital Account set up by Sascha, and goes toward future prosthesis, educational tools and rehabilitation for William.

Members of the public who want to make a donation can contact Sascha:


Read more here.

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