Crockett High sophomore Donovan Clay doesn’t have the everyday home life of most 15-year-olds.
His mother Bertha Foster has been bed-bound in recent years after multiple strokes took away her ability to walk and left her partially blind and unable to use one hand.
While there are several family members around to assist Foster, Donovan is the one that’s there 24/7 to be her unofficial nurse when his grandmother, older sisters or medical personnel aren’t there to provide assistance.
Donovan and his mother are part of the Statesman Season for Caring program, which highlights the needs of 12 local families and helps hundreds of others through local nonprofit organizations. The Fosters were nominated by Meals on Wheels Central Texas, which nourishes and enriches the lives of the home-bound people and other people in need.
Foster’s health is so precarious that she returned home Wednesday after almost a month of hospitalization and rehabilitation from an infection. When she was rolled into her apartment’s foyer, her family and Meals on Wheels surprised her with a Christmas tree all set up with ornaments.
It was good to be back in the one-bedroom apartment in Southwest Austin she has lived in since October. The Fosters have struggled to be on their own. Donovan pawned his Xbox video game system in part to help pay the apartment’s $1,180 deposit in September. Their goal was to move closer to Crockett High so his commute would be shorter.
Donovan loves sports, including baseball, basketball and football and cross-country running. He even has an interest in ice hockey and says he has visited Chaparral Ice.
“I want to play everything I can,” he said.
As far his future, Donovan dreams of a career in public service.
“There are people out there that can get taken if they don’t know how stuff works,” he said. “I want to tell them what they need to know about the law.”
So you want to be a public defender?
“Maybe, but only if I don’t make it to the NBA,” he said.
To call him a sports junkie would be an understatement. He loves the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New England Patriots and keeps his eyes glued to the set each weekend.
Mother and son have a friendly rivalry going. Both were born in Houston, but during the World Series Donovan was pulling for the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series while Foster was firmly behind her Houston Astros.
Foster kids him often that he’s a front-runner. Donovan doesn’t mind.
“Most people hate me because every team I like wins,” he said. “It’s not my fault that I can pick a winner.”
This World Series, though, Foster’s team won.
The family needs help with a bigger, accessible living space, sheets for a full-size bed and hospital bed, driver’s education, a gently used car and sports-themed items. They also need an attorney to do Foster’s will.
To find out more about the Foster family or to give an item on the wish list, contact Meal on Wheels Central Texas at 512-476-6325, Ext. 159 or mealsonwheelscentraltexas.org.