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 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 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….
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.
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 $210.
The hospital admitted her as a day case only, and she had her wound debrided and dressed. She was then discharged the same day with nowhere to go to. She was told to present for daily dressings which she did. She slept in the hospital lobby for three days until one of the hospital cleaners who rented a single room outside the hospital became aware of her situation and invited her to stay. She shared her room with her for a week until all Goma’s money was gone on dressing supplies and medications (pain-killers and antibiotics).
She said she begged the hospital one hundred times to treat her for free, but nobody listened. She begged for help from strangers from whoever came near her, but no one would listen.
One of NHEDF’s patient’s caretakers who had taken another patient to hospital found her crying outside the hospital. She called NHEDF and explained the situation and after talking to Goma, NHEDF accepted her into the NHEDF family. Goma’s wound required complex dressings as not only was the abscess large, but it had a deep sinus. It took two months to heal. When she was ready for discharge NHEDF provided Goma with some money to get home and a thank you letter to the village office so that the municipality who gave her the small amount of funding knew she had received treatment and why.
NHEDF is not just an organization but a home for many people like Goma. Good bye Goma. We wish you good luck ……
Kusum has some happy news! She was awarded a 50% scholarship from Tribhuvan University to do her three-year Bachelor of Nursing Science and so far it is going well. In Nepal you do your three year Staff Nurse (PCL) training first, then need at least one years work experience following registration with the Nepal Nursing Council, and then you can apply for your ‘Bachelors’. It is very expensive. Even with a 50% scholarship she still has to pay US$ 4000 for tuition fees. She was so happy because for the scholarship the students have to go through an entrance exam and have to score the best marks and she did.
Kusum is still working at NHEDF whilst she is studying, and she says ‘that working with the NHEDF team has been fantastic since my first day. Due to my schedule now with study it has been a bit difficult for me with work and study but my plans are to have best experience and graduate in the nursing field with a Bachelors.’
Virginia, our founding Trustee thinks Anjeela is so brave because this is how she gets to and from work every day in the chaos that is Kathmandu traffic!
Anjeela, NHEDF’s physio was very much looking forward to a visit from a German physiotherapist, Susanne Friedrich, who was spending a week at NHEDF. She works with two main techniques to treat patients with neurological problems; the Vojta technique to stimulate natural patterns of movement and the Bobath approach to promote motor learning. Her aim is to contribute her knowledge and experience to support and improve patient rehabilitation outcomes. She learned so much…. Thank you Susanne!
Thinking of everyone in Nepal on the 25th…. in our hearts, minds and memories.
Thirteen year old Sandeep who sustained multiple internal injuries in the earthquake is having major surgery tomorrow to try to resect the stricture that is giving him so many problems ranging from incontinence to kidney damage. It is going to be very tricky surgery because of the location of the stricture. We are thinking of you Sandeep and we wish you good luck for the operation and we hope so much it is successful for you! You deserve it and then you can go back to school and we hope you will be like you used to be before the earthquake… take care and thinking of you!