Far and wide: HRDC's network of amazing doctors
Three years ago, Bishal Rana Magar and some friends went swimming in the nearby river. In a freak accident, the riverbank collapsed and buried him. In the rush to free Bishal, his friends dragged him out, unknowingly dislocating his spine.
“I felt flushed, very scared and I couldn’t move my legs,” Bishal remembers. He was rushed to the local government hospital where he spent the night, only to be told by the doctors there was no treatment available for him; he was paralyzed from the waist down. For the next 20 days, Bishal remained bedridden.
A relative took Bishal to a nearby private hospital for a second opinion and, knowing its fees would be way beyond what they could pay, prayed for a miracle. Fortunately that hospital was partnered with the Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children (HRDC). The head of the orthopedics unit was Dr. Pramod Lamichhane, who studied under Dr. Ashok Banskota (HRDC's founder) with a residency scholarship from AHF. So when Bishal, from a village near the jungles of Chitwan, needed surgery his family couldn’t possibly afford, Dr. Pramod knew who to reach out to.
He took on Bishal’s case at no cost to the family, operating on Bishal the next day and inserting a metal rod to run alongside his spine. It couldn’t reverse the damage, but at least it enabled Bishal to sit upright in a wheel chair. Dr. Pramod then referred Bishal to HRDC’s field team, led by Hira K.C.
Bishal remembers Dr. Pramod fondly. “He spoke kindly to me and was very compassionate,” unlike the doctors Bishal had seen initially.
Hira arranged for a wheelchair and visited Bishal’s home for rehabilitation sessions. Within a month, Bishal was able to lift himself out of his bed and into the chair, and generally had a modicum of independence.
Bishal is now 18 years old and hoping to find some vocational training opportunities, particularly one that could incorporate a hobby he is passionate about—illustrations and cartoons! He showed us a couple of examples of his work during our visits, and he is really quite good!