Read Jhumu’s story here

Jhumu is a young girl with spina bifida. She was incontinent of both faeces and urine due to a tumour pressing on her spinal cord. NHEDF organised surgery for her and the faecal incontinence is now fixed but the urinary incontinence is not. It is not just fistula affected women that will benefit from the incontinence products that our Circles of Hope will make, but NHEDF patients too. We are hoping that her urinary incontinence will be cured in time through physio and bladder training and further investigations will be done as appropriate. Fingers crossed everyone!


How much adversity do some people have to deal with in their 23 years of life…Read Ramba’s story

Ramba is 23 years old. She comes from a poor family in a place called Dang in the south-west Terai region (which borders India). She was married at the age of 13 and the following year, aged 14, whilst cleaning her parents-in-law’s house, she fell from the second floor and fractured her spine. She was taken to the local hospital but due to inadequate Government resourcing and funding, treatment was simply not possible. She was transferred to a larger center and operated on and then sent back to her village. Tragically, she became bed-ridden. Her husband started neglecting her and after a year he left her and told her to go back to her parents, which she did.

Ramba remained completely bed ridden for three years. Finally her brother and sister decided they would motivate her to walk again.

Seven months later she was able to take a few steps but life is not kind to many people in Nepal – when she turned 19, her mother died, and her father married another woman. Her step-mother was cruel to Ramba and started to beat her, so she and her younger sister left and moved into a rented room. Eventually she was able to find a job as a guest worker in India working for a textiles factory. Her job was to encourage people in Nepal to work for the same factory, and she was paid a commission for every employee she brought to them. It would take her four days to make the round-trip, but she only needed to find two people a month to earn NPR 10,000 (approximately $110)  It was enough money to pay her and her younger sister’s rent, living expenses and their education.

Ramba worked really hard to make a success of her life and two years ago, at the age of 21, she graduated from high school with not just her School Leaving Certificate (the equivalent of our Year 10) but her + 2 (our equivalent of Year 12).

A few months ago, Ramba began to experience increasing weakness in her legs and started worrying about her future. She managed to find help from a friend who also had a spinal injury and advised her to go to an organisation called the National Disabled Fund (NDF) in Kathmandu. It took two months for supportive friends and family to find the financial resources to make this happen, and eventually she and her sister were able to make the 14-hour bus journey to Kathmandu armed with NPR 25,000 (approximately AU$ 305). They knew no one, had never been to Kathmandu and had never even heard of physiotherapy. They managed to rent a room in a hotel for NPR 7,000 (AU$80) a month. They then went to NDF where the physiotherapist advised Ramba that she could help her walk properly again, but she would have to continue physiotherapy for 3 – 4 months at NPR 50/day (AU$0.60) Their funds only lasted a month and although Ramba searched high and low for a job, no one was willing to employ someone with a disability. In desperation, Ramba took the advice of someone she met in Kathmandu who told her about a thermal therapy that he said would fix her. Unfortunately, it was a scam, and not only did she spend precious rupees on the treatment, she acquired a large burn in her pelvic area and had no money left to pay for treatment for her newly acquired wounds.

A fellow patient, who attends NDF for physiotherapy told Ramba about NHEDF and asked her to call them. After hearing her story NHEDF admitted her to the Shelter where she is receiving daily dressings to her burn and regular physiotherapy. NHEDF’s goal is to help her walk again, so she can live with her disability, earn a living and survive.

Thank you NHEDF!

Meet Bharat and read his story….

Bharat is a 29 year-old man from Rolpa in the far west of Nepal. He is married with a 2 year-old daughter and used to work for a government school as a part time teacher. A year ago, he decided to leave his job and go and work as a laborer in Dubai. After twelve months he returned to Nepal to see his family, but was injured in an accident and sustained facial fractures and a badly broken leg. He was taken to a hospital which was a 3 hour walk away from his village, but they were unable to treat him. He was told to go to Chitwan eight hours away. He was operated on there to fix a fractured facial bone and had an external fixator applied to his badly broken leg. He was in hospital for two months before being discharged home, but he still required daily dressings which is a disaster for people who live in remote regions with no access to health care. Dressing products were costing him about $2 a day.

Many people find it hard to believe that medical costs in a third world country can be so crippling. Bharat’s initial hospital stay cost about NPR 5 Lakh which is about AU$7,050. He was able to fund a fifth of this medical bill with his savings from his time in Dubai and he took a loan for the remainder from friends and family as is common in Nepal. After 5 months he was required to go to Chitwan for a follow up and the doctors found his wounds were infected and he required further surgery. He was hospitalized for another month. His medical bill for this stay was approximately $4,230. His community chipped in NRP 50,000 – approximately $600 (this kind of support is common in close knit communities in rural Nepal) and in order to pay the remainder, he borrowed more money from relatives. Two months later the hospital said they had to operate again to do a bone graft which cost a further NPR 2 lakh or $2,820. The wounds still did not heal, and the hospital asked for a further NPR60,000 or $ 720 so they could do a skin graft. He had no more money and had exhausted all his borrowing options.

Luckily, Bharat had a chance meeting with Karna, an ex-patient of NHEDF’s who was injured in the earthquake and spent two years there. He contacted them and referred Bharat. Without NHEDF this man would have died. His wounds are too graphic to show.

We hope you get better soon Bharat!

We love this video and hope you do too..

Sometimes Samrat, NHEDF’s Director, is given special presents. This is his most special – some patients did these beautiful drawings and Samrat made this short movie and set it to music. 

Watch this video to experience the wonderful work of NHEDF from a patient’s perspective…and like all NHEDF’s patient stories, this is a true story….

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 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.