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Inauguration of PMR Dept With the differently abled during PMR Inauguration

More than lip service …

It’s been 10 years since Sheila noticed the swelling on her upper lip. The miserable swelling defined her to many people in the community and interfered with her speech and eating. It’s not that she did not try to have it treated. She remembered selling her patch of land and livestock during early days of the swelling to have it treated in a number of private hospitals and finally the big government hospital in Patna.

She also had to take a loan, a principal amount that she no longer remembers, from the local moneylender whom she continues to pay regularly years later for the loan. The only information we have of her visit to Patna years ago is an unused radiotherapy payment slip for rupees 4500. The loan and sale were unable to cover for the planned treatment and she returned to Madhepura reconciled to live with the swelling, till it got the better of her.

She was literally waiting for death.... Reassuringly the progressive growth of the swelling was slow and she did not disclose any systemic signs or symptoms of malignancy. However, when it began to ulcerate and interfere with her ability to speak and eat she thought her time was drawing to a close. She was pointed out to our Palliative care team in the village who brought her in to the hospital. She underwent an excision of the swelling without complications and with an excellent cosmetic result.

The biopsy showed a non-infective and non-malignant pathology (pleomorphic adenoma) but which was undergoing malignant transformation in the central regions. Fortunately, the margins of the excision were clear of the tumor and although she refused further evaluation for RT, she is most probably cured of the disease. Sheila has now recovered and rediscovered her beautiful smile which lights up each time she visits us and her ability to eat and speak better has resulted in improved nutrition and quality of life.

The scarf that always covered her face to hide her unsightly deformity has now found a different use. Her bills have been supported by the hospital and she has returned to taking care of livestock and household responsibilities.

Bhupender Kumar

Bhupender Kumar was a 15 years old boy, living with his parents in a Mahadalit community of nearby panchayat. He was in the eighth standard and doing well in his studies. Due to a lack of finance for his mother’s treatment, one of his relatives came to his home and gave them Rs 1000. A few days later, the same person visited their home and asked Bhupender's father to take the young boy to Rajasthan for work.

He assured the parents that Bhupender would earn Rs 6,000 each month. As the family was in a great financial distress, the father reluctantly let him go. However when the Bhupender reached Jaipur, he was was forced to work in a factory. He was not paid even a single rupee even after six months of work. The strain of work caused him to fall ill. When he asked for his wages, he was beaten by his owner.

One day he finally succeeded in escaping from that factory. Through a series of adventurous events, he finally reach Saharsa. Our project staff visited his house and helped strengthen his father’s skill in agriculture, by providing him the relevant training. The project also supported Bhupender's father to start vegetable farming. Bhupender also enrolled in the eighth standard in a local government school. The project supported Bhupender towards his tuition costs.

At present Bhupender's father is able to earn betwen Rs 1500 to 2000 per month through vegetable farming. The family is now able to live a life of dignity and joy. Bhupender's story is one of many stories of the evils of bonded labor that needs our help and involvement.

Rekha Devi

Rekha Devi’s family had always been poor, living in a a village in a needy area of one of the nearby blocks. She is a widow with four daughters. All her daughters were under 15 years, and were malnourished. Her husband had died the previous year from cancer. The loss of income forced her daughters to drop out of school and start working in the fields of others along with the mother.

This family was identified as a family that was vulnerable to trafficking. Our project staff started visiting the family regularly. She was encouraged to send her children to school. Throught he project Rekha was able to obtain five goats. She was overjoyed and promised to look after them the best she could. She was able to take care of these animals and one of her goats then gave birth to two kids.

Rekha now has a livelihood option. She has the opportunity to gain income by selling the goat kids and this could be an added income for her. She has started sending her daughters to school again.

“Now I am sending my daughters to school. I am very happy to see them in school. I am very thankful to Madhepura Christian Hospital for their support.”…. said Rekha Devi Identifying families that are vulnerable to trafficking and providing them timely and appropriate support is one of the ways the CHDP program aims to help the community.

Nand Prakash Story

Nand Prakash came to us one night unconscious and gasping. He had been sick for many months and had traveled to many places for treatment. But he had only gotten worse. He had been diagnosed with tuberculosis but had seen so many doctors and taken so many drugs at often wrong doses on and off that his family were completely confused.

We thought he was going to die, but with a tube in his chest, correct dosage of drugs and good nutrition from our mess, he improved miraculously. He left after a month with us, a completely new person.

Chandra Si

A frail middle aged man came to our OPD a fortnight ago with a badly infected, gangrenous wound behind his right ear. This is the story of one of the many thousands of daily wage labourers in Bihar affected during the COVID pandemic. 35 year old Mr. Das was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus at a local hospital 5 years ago and was started on oral medication. With no work since COVID hit Bihar he had no money to buy food or much needed medication.

A small boil behind his ear quickly turned into a huge infected wound, and only when the medication prescribed by the local quacks continued to fail did he present to MCH as a last resort. He had been treated for Tuberculosis of the pleura years ago, weighed merely 34 kilograms and had sugars of 600 mg/dL on arrival! We had the diagnosis- gut wrenching poverty! Mr. Das was always sad.

He had reason to be. He and his wife had been feeding their four children- (two to ten years old) off the 500 rupees they get per adult labourer during COVID. Ever since his hospitalisation his visually challenged mother has been taking care of the children, and the two goats that his village elders had given him to rear had died of starvation. We debrided and dressed his wound, started him on antibiotics, controlled his sugars, gave him(and his wife) hot meals from the mess, and most importantly- shared about the Saviour who loves him. He is getting better by the day.

His sugars are controlled and the wound is now red and healthy, ready for skin grafting but he badly wants to go home to see his children. Please pray for Mr. Das's operation, his family and the thousands of extremely poor like him who have no means of livelihood during this pandemic.

Story of Grace

This is a baby we have called Grace, who came into this world a month and a half ago. Her mother came into the emergency at around 6-7 months of gestation with seizures due to high blood pressure (eclampsia). This sad disease that has been eradicated from many parts of India thanks to proper antenatal care is unfortunately a regular occurrence in our poorly served area.

The saddest part of this story was that the mother was unmarried and neither she nor the family had known she was pregnant 😢😢. Grace was born with a weight of 1.01kg and struggled to breathe for the first week or so. Her family all told us not to treat her and wanted us to let them take her away to die, but with much gentle persuasion, we were able to convince them to sign over the baby to us. When the mother recovered, they left and Grace became 'baby of Unknown'.

We contacted the government child protection committee who agreed to let us keep her till she was well enough for discharge. With the help of milk provided by other mothers and the love and care of our nurses, who bought her clothes, carried her when she cried and showed her the love of many mothers, she slowly gained weight, overcame her infections and growth retardation and now has reached the magic figure of 2 kilos.

We have contacted the government who have put her on the adoption list and we hope she will soon have a new home where she will be loved and provided for as she deserves. We praise God for allowing her to live a nd we also thank the kind well - wisher who provided the money for her treatment. Praise God!!