Emotional return home for Nepal quake survivor

2015-05-05 11:05
Krishan KC with his wife Shanti. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Krishan KC with his wife Shanti. (Jeff Wicks, News24)

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Kathmandu - A week after his wife threw herself from her balcony in a bid to save her life, Krishan KC returned to what was once their home, and wept. 

Krishan was overcome by grief as tears streamed down his cheeks. 

It was the first time he had returned home since he carried his wife Shanti to the Janamaitri Hospital nearly 10 days ago. 

He has stayed dutifully by her bedside ever since. 

Shanti KC was among thousands injured in the 7.8 magnitude quake - which also claimed the lives of over 7 200 Nepalis. 

When the quake struck, the clerk had fallen from the first floor of her home in the village of Phutung. 

She lay writhing in pain before her husband pulled her to safety and has been lying in the hospital with two shattered heels and without money to pay for emergency surgery. She told how she was gripped by fear when the walls of her home started to vibrate. 

‘Just a statistic’

Shanti is a statistic in an already under-resourced health system which is on the verge of collapse. 

Her chances of a full recovery were swung in her favour by a South African medical team who operated on her for free.

Krishan said they were destitute and had nowhere to turn. 

“Our house is not even there anymore and there is nowhere for us to live. Some of my family have made a small shelter but it only has a roof with no walls and my wife can’t walk, I don’t know where we can go now,” he said. 

Kirshan labours with Shanti in his arms to the toilet, the simplest of tasks she is unable to perform without her husband to aid her. 

“I have no money and the only way we were able to eat was because I have credit at the hospital canteen, now I am stuck,” he said, breaking down. 

While Shanti’s prognosis for a full recovery is promising, she needs to remain in a wheelchair for at least eight weeks, a luxury the couple can ill-afford at this point.

Healthcare crisis 

The country faces a burgeoning crisis, with the destitute without resources to pay for desperately needed healthcare services. 

Despite a government decree that all hospitals should treat injured disaster victims without charge, many private hospitals in the capital Kathmandu continue to demand payment for medical care. 

It is understood that the state of Nepal provides a grant for patients treated in private hospitals, with the institutions insisting that they need to charge for their consumables. 

This comes as thousands of people injured in the quake steadily make their way towards medical centres.

- Jeff Wicks is in Kathmandu courtesy of Gift of the Givers.

Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  nepal  |  earthquakes  |  nepal earthquake  |  natural disasters

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