Holidays are always a special time for family to gather together, enjoy time fellowshipping, and making lasting memories. It is sad whenever an accident happens, and doubly tragic when it happens at the time of a holiday. For 14-year-old Raju, the Tihar holiday of 2018 is an event that he’ll, most unfortunately, never forget.
Raju was waving good-bye to a relative when he felt dizzy, fell, and tumbled down a embankment. He was injured and bleeding and needed medical care. En route to hospital, his father opted to stop at a traditional healer’s home. After an evaluation a treatment plan of a special oil mixture was prescribed; the family paid equivalent to $USD 20 for his services.
Most unfortunately, he didn’t get better, in fact, he almost died. After a few days of treatment Raju’s father noted that his hand was literally decaying. It was now obvious to the father that an alternative treatment plan needed to be sought; this is where SMAH comes into Raju’s story.
The orthopedic surgeons worked very hard for 9-days to treat Raju. He wasn’t getting better. A referral to a large pediatric hospital was arranged. The father did everything he could to save Raju’s life.
Raju’s father, a subsistence farmer, had previously, and most unfortunately, lost his eldest son to a lightning strike. The father really didn’t want his second son to die! To provide for the expensive treatment required at the referral center, Raju’s father sold everything and anything of value to pay for medicines and treatment. Nonetheless, it wasn’t long until money ran out.
This is where SMAH re-enters the story. Dr. Sujan Poudel, Orthopedic Surgeon, describes how the next 7 months and 26 days of treatment progressed, “We could have fixed his hand if the family wouldn’t have delayed. Due to the delay and the oil used for treatment, Raju’s hand will never work again. His fingers have sensation, but the rest of his hand is damaged. We performed countless operations and dressing changes. It is a miracle that we were able to save his life.”
Raju was happily discharged on 14 February 2019. He missed almost a full year of school. His life will be forever changed. SMAH is thankful that we could provide free treatment to this family in a time of great need. It is because of you, donors, that Raju is alive today and back in his home. Thank you.