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!
Since her visit to Nepal in February, our founding Trustee Virginia, has been working very hard to find ways of working with the internationally renowned organisation Days for Girls www.daysforgirls.org and sourcing and providing waterproof incontinence products for fistula affected women as well as training some staff from both our project partners to become DfG Ambassadors of Women’s Health.
This idea could also involve supporting the establishment of a DfG Enterprise operating out of NHEDF’s Shelter and also in Dharan which will provide these women with menstrual and incontinence products (most women in Nepal simply use rags which are not waterproof) and deliver community education about menstruation and women’s health issues. Disposable incontinence products cost the equivalent of three days wages for the average Nepali for a packet of ten!
This all looked so easy lfrom the website but like so many things, everything often happens differently in Nepal to anywhere else, so just like a road to rehabilitation, the path to a DfG Enterprise is proving to also be a lengthy road indeed!
Yesterday Samrat and our possible Enterprise candidate, Sunam, visited Days for Girls in Kathmandu and were lucky enough to meet not only the Asia coordinator but the actual founder of DfG who just happened to be there from USA! Days for Girls was set up by CEO Celeste Mergens in 2008.
Virginia is hoping this is an auspicious occasion! DfG Enterprises could also provide an income for both our NHEDF patients who need alternative means of employment as they are often unable to work in their pre-injury employment and fistula affected women who are often living in abject poverty.
Watch this space!
Himal B.K is a six-year-old boy from the province of Aacham in the west of Nepal. His father Jay Bahadur B.K is all he has left.
Like many of NHEDF’s patients, Himal’s parents were poor and they were working in India as laborers. Home was a little wooden hut provided by their employee. Unfortunately, one night, an electrical short circuit set the house alight and everyone was killed except for Himal and Jay. Himal and Jay lost their mother/wife along with Jays brother, sister-in-law and their child.
They were taken to hospital in India with dreadful burns. Jay had burns to both legs and Himal had terrible facial burns as well as burns to his arms and back. Medical care was not free in India and eventually they ran out of money so the hospital discharged them. They decided to return to Nepal and like many of NHEDF’s patients, they could not afford medical treatment. Thanks to financial support from their community they were admitted to a local hospital, but it had few facilities and only basic treatment for burns injuries.
For two weeks the hospital did not charge them for the care they received and some of the hospital staff generously paid their medical bills. They were then discovered by a nurse who had volunteered for NHEDF after the earthquake and was doing her Bachelor in Nursing at the hospital where they had been admitted. She contacted NHEDF and arrangements were made for Himal and Jay to be brought to Kathmandu. They were admitted to NHEDF on April 12th.
Since then Himal has had five surgeries and Jay has had two. We have felt that the photos of Himal when he arrived at NHEDF were too distressing to be shown and despite wonderful nursing care from NHEDF’s nurses, even recent photos are enough to make some people turn away.
Jay’s skin grafts have taken and his wounds are well healed. Himal is a different story due to the extent of his burns. The road to rehabilitation for Himal will be very long and both may require long-term medical care to minimize their disabilities from burns contractures and help them deal with the trauma they experienced. If you would like to support Jay and Himal’s ongoing medical care, please contact us.