Some of you have been interested to know what kinds of people have been newly injured in the recent earthquakes and the kinds of medical care and rehabilitation the SIRC team’s are providing. Great question!
A patient’s story is taken as part of the intake process at SIRC and the following is a direct extract from the records. Don’t worry, I have their permission to share it with you.
Kaami Lama, from the north east of Kathmandu, was one of these terrified patients. On the day of the earthquake his house collapsed and he was trapped in rubble, unable to move or call for help. Thankfully, he was rescued, but when he emerged from the remnants of his home he saw his village and the life that he knew devastated. Kaami was airlifted to hospital in Kathmandu, received spinal surgery and was then transferred to SIRC where his rehabilitation has begun.
The building fell on Kaami’s back and he sustained spinal fractures. Initially he could feel little sensation in his legs then gradually the sensation started to return. He however still had an unstable fractured vertebrae which if left untreated could lead to permanent paralysis. Following surgery to stabilise the fracture Kaami was transferred to SIRC. With the help of the therapists he slowly began to mobilise, transferring from bed to wheelchair and beginning standing and walking practice. He is now mobilising independently using a walking frame. He should continue to improve. He is extremely determined but worries about the future not just of himself but his entire village.
Kaami was very fortunate he had no damage to his spinal cord and receive his surgery so soon after injury. And of course receive SCI rehabilitation from the team at SIRC so quickly, thus avoiding the potential for paralysis.
And the next story …..
Buddhi Bahadur Tamang is 76 years old and was admitted to SIRC following the first earthquake. He comes from Dhading, one of the worst affected areas. He has an incomplete spinal injury and is currently receiving rehabilitation. With the help of the therapists he continues to improve and will soon be walking again. Buddhi’s daughter is staying at the Centre to care for him. She is also working as a volunteer in SIRC’s canteen.
Again Buddhi Bahadur Tamang is fortunate to receive SCI rehabilitation so quickly, giving him a chance to walk again.
His daughter volunteering at SIRC’s kitchen is typical of the generosity of spirit of the Nepalese – despite having to care for her own father, she still sees it as important to give her time and cooking skills to ensure what is now four times the usual number of people to be fed every day, get the nourishment they need to get well.
I am humbled by these folks who have suffered so much yet continue to give. Aren’t you?