Yamuna is a 12-year-old girl, living with her parents and two of her four siblings in a two storey mud hut in Hernamadi village Nepal – a five hour drive from our partner Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children (HRDC) in Kathmandu.
Yamuna was born at home with “spina bifida” which literally means “split spine”.
Her parents, farm labourers earning $5 per day, could not afford to take her to the hospital. Left untreated, her feet bent so much her father says she couldn’t even stand, let alone walk to school.
For a long time Yamuna just sat at home and occasionally crawled around the hut on all fours. This girl who was once bright and talkative is now sad and withdrawn.
cbm Child Sponsors are giving new hope
Yamuna thought she would never walk again, but generous cbm Child Sponsors set her on an exciting new path of hope.
They have provided essential medical treatment at HRDC which her family could never afford.
At the HRDC, Yamuna underwent examinations by several doctors. Eventually Dr Bibek Banskota broke the tough news that both her limbs need to get amputated because she has a loss of sensation below the knees.
It was the toughest decision the family ever had to make but they agree when Dr Bibek explains that amputation is the first step towards effective rehabilitation. Later on a pair of artificial limbs will enable Yamuna to stand and walk, just like other children.
Yamuna’s limbs were amputated one at a time and there were no complications in surgery.
It was a difficult time but she was very brave and medical staff spoke highly of her strength.
Intensive post-surgery care was needed to help build muscles including physiotherapy, daily stump dressing and bandaging.
Meanwhile Yamuna even started to enjoy her time at the hospital: “I like staying at the hospital. I’m happy to have such good friends. They are a big support to me,” says Yamuna.
A month later Yamuna was discharged and sent home for further recovery and rehabilitation.
After two months of recovery at home Yamuna came back to HRDC to get measured for a pair of artificial limbs. These prostheses are the key to her independence and a thriving future.
“It’s a very big day for us. It has been over five years since Yamuna last stood and walked on her own… I can’t wait to see my daughter wear and stand on the artificial limbs,” added Sanu Babu.
It was a very special moment when orthopaedic technician Chandra Man put the newly made prostheses over Yamuna’s stumps.
Yamuna proudly made her first steps with a walking frame outside HRDC’s orthopaedic workshop. Shortly afterwards she proudly made her first steps with a walking frame outside HRDC’s orthopaedic workshop.
“I’m very happy to get my new legs. Now, I’m learning to walk with it,” quips Yamuna, beaming all over her face.
What has been a dream for a long time now becomes reality: walking to school and playing just like other children.
As a cbm Child Sponsor you can make the dreams of children like Yamuna come true. Support them on their journey through surgery and rehabilitation. Only together can we break the cycle of poverty and disability.