Dr Cival Mills – an inspiration! You will be missed!

Posted on April 07, 2015

It is with sad and heavy hearts that the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) and the University of Pretoria say farewell to a great man and colleague, Dr Cival Mills.

After a car accident in 2000, at the age of 26, Dr Mills was diagnosed with the rare locked-in syndrome, but this did not stop him from living life to the fullest.

He authored three books, This too will pass: an autobiography of events, The truth about wheels and This will still pass. This too will pass earned Dr Mills the award for best debut author from the Fundza for Fun Project and the printing of the first edition was sponsored by the Centre for the Book in Cape Town. Dr Mills worked as a researcher, for short periods of time, at both Momentum Health and Discovery Health. Since 2014, he was employed at CAAC as a disability consultant.

He was also an inventor and designer. His first device, called Thingy, is registered and a grant was approved by the Department of Trade and Industry for its development and marketing. Thingy is a communication device attached to a sound program on a computer. It can be used in normal conversation situations or to address audiences.

Dr Mills was a popular motivational speaker. He delivered multiple speeches at CAAC, and also spoke at the departments of Occupational Therapy and Physiology at the University of Pretoria. 

He had the honour of a private visit with President Nelson Mandela and delivered papers and motivational talks at Tape Aids for the Blind, the Paraplegic Society of South Africa, First National Bank, book clubs and various Rotary Clubs.

In November 2008, Dr Mills received a Laureate Award from the University of Pretoria in recognition of his writing and design. He participated in two Quads4Quads trips from Johannesburg to Ballito and qualified as a level C scuba diver with the Handicapped Scuba Association.

His life story and his resilience continue to be an inspiration to many. He was a true gentleman and a champion of people with disabilities, but most of all, he was an amazing and wonderful human being.

We shall miss you, Dr Cival Mills. May you rest in peace.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, 10 April at 14:00 at the Dutch reformed Church, 279 Piet Hugo Street, Wierda Park, Centurion.

- Author Robyn White

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