Its better I die. I have become a big burden to my family”

Sarvajit was living a happy life with his mother, wife and two children in Salyan in the mid-western region of Nepal. He and his wife were running a small grocery shop which was doing good business and he was able to cover the family’s monthly expenses and pay for his son’s schooling.

Two years ago. Sarvajit had the opportunity to go to Malaysia to work as a labourer.  His family were happy and the dream of finally being able to ‘earn some savings’ was about to become a reality. He went to Malaysia in 2017 and after working for several months, he was able to send some money back home.

A few months later though, disaster struck.  He had a work place accident and fell three stories from a building, fracturing his left arm, leg and pelvis. He was rushed to the hospital and operated on. After a month, the company he was working for advised him that they had spent all the money allocated for his treatment and cannot do anything more for him. They sent him back to Nepal.

He was admitted to Kritipur Hospital in Kathmandu where he remained for a month, before being transferred to Kathmandu Model Hospital. He began to experience increasing numbness in his left leg and another month down the track he was transferred to Manmohan Cardiac Hospital which has an orthopaedic ward. After reviewing his reports, the doctors operated on both his pelvis, leg and left arm again and was transferred to the neurology department in severe pain for further treatment before being discharged from hospital. He was asked to return every week for follow up which is very difficult when you live many miles away.

By this time, three months in different hospitals in Kathmandu had cost Sarvajit’s family about 12 lakh Nepalese rupees (US$12,000). He took loans from relatives, friends and villagers to cover his treatment as his savings were nowhere near enough. He decided that he would simply return home as they could not pay for any further treatment.

Sarvajit was on high doses of analgesia (pain killers) but after a month he could not handle the pain. Someone had told him about a special Neuro hospital, so he returned to Kathmandu hoping they could help. He borrowed more funds which were only sufficient for twelve days. He had some physio and when the money ran out, he returned home. He lasted another three months and then attended a follow-up appointment at the Manmohan Cardio hospital. This time the family decided to stay/sleep in the lobby of the hospital until his treatment was finished. They overcame their pride and began to ask for money from people at the hospital because they knew, without money, there would be no help.

Luckily for Sarvajit, he met a nurse called Chandrika who knows NHEDF very well. She coordinated with us and we happily admitted him. Now he is having good care at NHEDF. He has three meals a day, nursing care and most importantly, physiotherapy and everything is free.

Sarvajit said “People come every day to ask for money. I only have 1 ropani (= 508 sq.m ) land which worth 3 Lakh( US$ 3000). If I sell it me and my family will not have any place to live. Its better I die. I have become a big burden to my family”

We need financial support to be able to continue his treatment. Can you help?

Meet Prakash who really needs a bone marrow transplant at a cost of $25,000!

Prakash comes from a farming family. There is just him and his elderly father. Their income is low and Prakash went to Malaysia to work as a labourer and had been there for two years. He began to feel unwell and when he returned home to visit his family he was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia. This is a condition which develops when damage occurs to your bone marrow, slowing or shutting down the production of new blood cells. Bone marrow is a red, spongy material inside your bones that produces stem cells, which give rise to other cells. Stem cells in the bone marrow produce blood cells — red cells, white cells and platelets.

Prakash was taken to hospital in Dharan. It took two weeks for his condition to be diagnosed and then he was transferred to Kathmandu which is the only place where the treatment he needed– a bone marrow transplant – is available. The hospital he was admitted to advised him that a bone marrow transplant would cost approximately US$25,000! He was referred to NHEDF who sadly, cannot afford to fund a bone marrow transplant.

Even though he does not require rehabilitation, physiotherapy or nursing care, NHEDF decided to admit him as he simply comes for his transfusion and Samrat, NHEDF’s Director was also touched by his story…. Prakash’s only other option is a blood transfusion every 10 days which NHEDF organises on his behalf.

 

 

Introducing Khemraj

Khemraj  was admitted to NHEDF at the end of May. He is a young man from a poor family who lives with his mother and elder brother in a remote village near Gorkha which was the epicenter of the earthquake in 2015. He came to Kathmandu in search of a job and was able to find work collecting rubbish. He was painting the outer wall of his landlord’s house and fell off a ladder badly breaking both his ankles. He was treated in hospital in Kathmandu but like all NHEDF’s patients, he could not afford ongoing medical expenses.

Some villagers from his home town had heard of NHEDF and he was admitted to the Shelter. He needs ongoing medical care and physiotherapy and his anticipated length of stay is two months. Whilst he is at NHEDF he has shelter, support, free medical care and physiotherapy which will help him have a future and minimize the physical, social and economic impact of his injury. 

All NHEDF’s patients need your support. It costs about $10 a day to keep a patient at NHEDF and that is without medical costs…..

Meet Chandra…

Chandra  is a 24 year-old man who comes from a place called Koholpur in the district of Banke in mid-western Nepal. In April he was working as a labourer in Sindhupalchok when he injured himself at work and sustained lacerations and trauma to his left calf. He was taken to a nearby medical shop and helped to buy bandages and pain killers and was sent back to his work place accommodation. It took a month for his wound to heal and he found once it had healed he had tremendous difficulty walking. His employer gave him NPR 3000 which is about $30 and sent him to Kathmandu for treatment. He consulted a doctor in a Government hospital who advised him that he had lacerated his ligaments and required urgent surgery. He had to wait for two weeks and then was finally operated on at a cost of NPR 40000 – approximately AUD $400. He now has no savings left. The hospital where he was operated on was overcrowded and he was discharged on the second day after surgery. He had no one to stay with in Kathmandu and no money left for further treatment so he was referred to NHEDF. He is currently on bed-rest and requires medications, dressings and physiotherapy.

Read another patient story about Budhi Bahadur who was injured during the course of his work in Malaysia.

Budhi Bahadur used to work as a guest worker in Malaysia. He is one of many people from Nepal who are injured overseas https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3073876 and experience devastating consequences that probably make them wish they had never gone.

Budhi Bahadur’s left leg got trapped in a machine. He was taken to a hospital in Malaysia but the funds he was given for treatment (Rs 11 lakh) were insufficient to cover his medical expenses. He returned to Kathmandu for further treatment and was admitted to hospital. Due to infection he underwent five progressive amputations of left leg. He then experienced a probable blood clot in his right leg and had to have that leg amputated as well as the clot blocked the circulation to that limb causing ischaemia.

Budhi Bahadur comes from Siranchowk which is a remote village in Gorkha. He lived with his parents who were farmers and was married but his wife left him after his first amputation. He spends his day in NHEDF by weaving sweaters and making ladies outfits. He says that he is feeling better with the treatment he is receiving but deep inside he is depressed because he knows that he will not get the support he needs for the rest of his life.

NHEDF is doing their best to try to provide him and all their other patients with the support they need in whatever ways they can to enhance their physical, emotional and psychological health and well-being and maximise their independence. Once Budhi’s wounds are healed he can then be fitted for prosthetic legs and will need intensive physiotherapy so he can learn to walk again.

Sita was NHEDF’s first fistula patient.

Sita comes from the district of Ramechhap which is southeast of Kathmandu about half way between Kathmandu and Dharan. She has been living with a fistula for 21 years. As a consequence of her fistula, she  experienced total neglect and rejection from her family having been thrown out of home many years ago. She took her son to Kathmandu, lived on the streets and survived by selling goods on the footpath. Her son is now grown up and has been able to get work in Saudi Arabia. His income there is very small and so far he has not as yet been able to send any money home to his mother.

With the help of Fistula Free Nepal, Sita recently had her fistula operated on. She has nowhere to live but a “pidi” which is a Nepalese term for “outside the house”. She had an open wound and in May 2018 was admitted to NHEDF for wound care. Two weeks later she was discharged, having been offered the opportunity to later join a team of NHEDF patients who will work for a Days for Girls Enterprise we are facilitating called Circle of Hope. Unfortunately for Sita, surgery was not successful. NHEDF has provided her with incontinence products which she has never been able to afford. Sita knows she can contact NHEDF or Fistula Free Nepal if she would ever like to work for Circle of Hope or if she ever needs medical care again.

Saila Tamang

Saila Tamang was a fifty-two year old man who came from Kavre, a 3 – 4 hour bus ride from Kathmandu. He was hit by a car in January 2018 and sustained an acute subdural haematoma with mid line shift or in layman’s terms, a head injury. He was rushed to hospital where he had surgery to evacuate or remove the haematoma, but he never fully recovered. 

After a month in ICU he was discharged from hospital with a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe, a naso-gastric tube to feed him, a catheter and nappy. It was impossible for him to go home as he was completely dependent on others for all his activities of living and needed 24-hour nursing care. At the wishes of his family he was transferred to NHEDF rather than be left to die.

When NHEDF received him, Saila was completely paralysed but in time he regained some movement but was unable to talk, walk, or follow instructions. He had wonderful care from his family who tended to him so gently and despite all efforts by NHEDF’s nurses and physio, there was no improvement. Sadly, Saila passed away on March 10th 2018, despite all NHEDF’s interventions. Rest in peace Saila….

Introducing Raj Kumar!

Raj Kumar is a seventeen-year old boy who is studying in Class 8. He comes from a poor farming family who live in the district of Lalitpur, south of Kathmandu. He was admitted to NHEDF in April 2017 accidentally – his brother presented for surgery following a head injury and Samrat, NHEDF’s Director, discovered that Raj had been badly burned as a baby when a kerosene lamp fell on him and caught alight. He experienced significant burns to his left arm, back, torso and needed surgical intervention due to significant burns contractures which were distorting what was left of his arm, his neck, his face and the left side of his body and causing significant loss of function and pain.

Raj underwent two operations in May and June of 2017 and an amputation of his left arm during his time at NHEDF in 2017 but needed a third surgery before a prosthetic arm could be fitted. This will be done as soon as funding is secured.

Meet Goma…

Goma was a patient at NHEDF for two months. She had a breast abscess – no one knows why. She came to Kathmandu for treatment armed with NPR 25,000 (approximately $300). She is a single mother who lives in a shack with her young son and because she is so poor, her village municipality gave her $60. She also used all her savings of $210.

The hospital admitted her as a day case only, and she had her wound debrided and dressed. She was then discharged the same day with nowhere to go to. She was told to present for daily dressings which she did.  She slept in the hospital lobby for three days until one of the hospital cleaners who rented a single room outside the hospital became aware of her situation and invited her to stay. She shared her room with her for a week until all Goma’s money was gone on dressing supplies and medications (pain-killers and antibiotics).

She said she begged the hospital one hundred times to treat her for free, but nobody listened. She begged for help from strangers from whoever came near her, but no one would listen.

One of NHEDF’s patient’s caretakers who had taken another patient to hospital found her crying outside the hospital. She called NHEDF and explained the situation and after talking to Goma, NHEDF accepted her into the NHEDF family. Goma’s wound required complex dressings as not only was the abscess large, but it had a deep sinus. It took two months to heal. When she was ready for discharge NHEDF provided Goma with some money to get home and a thank you letter to the village office so that the municipality who gave her the small amount of funding knew she had received treatment and why.

NHEDF is not just an organization but a home for many people like Goma. Good bye Goma. We wish you good luck ……