Friday, June 5, 2015

Earthquake--Part 12: Help me!

Earthquake--Part 12:  Help me!

Hello and thanks for visiting our news blog.
Thanks to all of you who have been supporting us through prayers and also donations.
You will never know how much your support is appreciated and needed.

It's now six weeks post-earthquake, and we still have about 20 earthquake victim patients.  Yes, they are healing, but for those still here, the process is a slow hard road.

They are all beautiful and brave and we cheer at each step forward!
We salute their family members who stay by their sides, and no matter how they're feeling,
always show a strong face.

This sweet little sweetheart, Soniya, age 8, seen here with her mother Sunita, 
is one of our now long-term patients.

That picture was taken a few weeks ago.  This picture was taken very recently!
Look at that beautiful smile!  She's almost ready to go home!
However, she has no home to go to.
Like many people in Nepal, her house was destroyed during the April 25 quake.

Perhaps you have heard of Sindhupalchowk.
This is where Soniya is from.

If you saw our previous guest post by Dr. Angela Basnet
about her trip to Sindhupalchowk, you will know how devastated the area is.
(If you missed the post, click here.)

These pictures are from that post.  (Thanks for the photos Dr. Angela.)

This Huffington Post article by Amrit Sharma (Thanks!) has pictures of the area and even a video:

For Soniya, her family, and in fact, everyone in Nepal, April 25, 2015,
started out as any other Saturday.
Many people were outside, which was a blessing.  The grown-ups were working and the children were playing.  Soniya had gotten her hands dirty while playing, and being a child who likes to stay clean, she ran inside to wash her hands.

Suddenly there was a loud noise and the earth and everything in sight started intensely shaking and rolling.  The buildings started collapsing.  Disbelief and realization set in.  People scrambled and shouted for their loved ones even as they tried to run to them as the earth rolled beneath their feet and dust rose into the air as buildings fell.  As Soniya's family gathered together, hugging and tearfully checking for everyone, they noticed that she wasn't there.  OH NO!  Where was she?  How could she not be here?  As they looked at the crumbled house, they didn't allow themselves to think she could be inside.  They started calling her name and asking neighbors if they had seen her.  The neighbors joined in to help look and call her name, even as the earth continued shaking.

Suddenly someone heard a faint cry.  "Help me!"  "WAIT!  I hear something!"  Everyone stopped and listened, yes, even as the earth continued trembling.  There it was again:  "Help me!"  A shout went up!  It was Soniya's voice!  She was alive!  She was alive!  But, oh no!  The beautiful sound of her voice was coming from inside the collapsed house.  Oh no!  Surely it wasn't so, but it was!  There was an animated conversation about how best to get her out.  Neighbors joined in and the men started going over their plans about how to proceed.  It would be a serious, dangerous, but necessary endeavor.  Suddenly her sweet voice shouted out:  "DADDY, STOP TALKING AND GET ME OUT OF HERE!"  

"That's our Sonia!  Of course Sonia darling!  We're coming!"

For two hours, her brave family and neighbors pulled the collapsing bricks out of the way.  Yes, the earth kept rolling with aftershocks and yes, the men's hands became scratched and bloodied, but as she started crying their strength was renewed and they never slowed down.

Finally, finally they made their way to her.  She was completely trapped from the waist down.  By that time, she was barely conscious, but still alive!  "She's alive!" was the cry that went around the whole village!

They wrapped up her bleeding little body and carried her for an hour to the nearest clinic, which had collapsed too and was now a busy outdoor clinic under a tarp.  The clinic workers told them she needed to get to a hospital as soon as humanly possible.

Her uncle, who was known to be an excellent motorcycle driver, immediately volunteered to take her to the nearest taxi stand, which was a 20 minute drive away.  She was tied to her brave uncle's body and he took off.  This was no easy task, because the earth was still trembling and the road, such as it was, was barely passable.  They transferred to a taxi at the taxi stand and the brave driver sped away as fast as he could to get the injured child to the hospital.  It was an hour and 40 minute harrowing drive.  At about 10:00 p.m. she finally arrived at our hospital. 

The next morning she had the first of four surgeries with Dr. Shashinda Bhuju, right, general and urology surgeon, and Dr. Ramon Ruiz Diaz, left, anesthesiologist and pediatric anesthesiologist.

Dr. Bhuju explained her injury as a large and severe degloving injury.  What is that?
This Wikipedia article gives a brief explanation:

Click the blue highlighted word avulsion, and read about skin avulsions to learn more.

Her treatment included the following (articles from Wikipedia):

Post surgery, still can still manage a smile!

It's been a long hard road, but little Soniya has been up to the task!
After physical therapy, her doctors expect a full recovery.

When Dr. Bhuju asked her what she wanted to do when she would be able to leave the hospital,
she replied, "I want to go to school!"

When schools around the country (those which were able anyway) opened on May 31, 2015,
Dr. Bhuju gave approval for Soniya to attend Esa Memorial School,
the primary school on our campus.

Here she is waving, "Hello!" with her new friends (in the front in a black dress) at school!

What joy!  She can't run yet, but she can participate in many activities
and she will run again all in good time!

She felt good enough to take a walk recently with her mom and Mrs. Susen Mole',
the wife of Dr. Dale Mole', our CEO.

We're all so thankful for her progress and also for the progress of all our patients!
We are blessed to be able to participate in their healing.

We are also blessed by the love, care, and concern we are feeling from around the world.
Please keep praying for Nepal as we are still experiencing aftershocks.

This website has the aftershock updates:

Thank you and have a nice day!

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