Nepali quake victim finds place in SA surgeon's heart

2015-05-05 19:38
(Leon Moodley via Facebook)

(Leon Moodley via Facebook)

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Kathmandu - A Nepali clerk, badly injured after leaping from the first floor of her collapsing quake-struck home, has found a place in the heart of the South African surgeon who gave her the chance of walking again. 

Among the thousands of injured Nepalis, Shanti KC had lain in a Janamaitri Hospital bed for nearly a week before Dr Leon Moodley operated on her shattered heels. 

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

Shanti and her husband Krishan are now destitute and unable to walk. She will likely make her two-month recovery in a tent, mercilessly exposed to the elements. 

Moodley, an orthopaedic surgeon based in Durban, said that Shanti’s plight had touched him, and that it was a surgery far beyond the norm. 

“I treat people with broken bones every day and it has become routine, but when you help someone who is in such dire need it is amazing. If she had been unable to walk, her situation would have been unthinkable.

"Nepal does not lend itself to people who are disabled for a number of reasons, specifically the terrain and employment opportunities, just to mention a few,” he said. 

“By giving this lady an opportunity in life for me personally it has touched the very bottom of my soul and I never dreamt that I would be able to touch someone to this extent,” Moodley added. 

“I will always have an attachment to Shanti as her operation was [the] first that I performed in Kathmandu, the memory of her will always stay with me,” he said. 

“I intend on following up on her recovery and I have some friends here in Kathmandu who will be able to do that on my behalf, and I will do anything I can to assist her even from at home in South Africa.” 

South African surgeons and medical staff have conducted over 80 operations worth over R5m since they touched down in earthquake-struck Nepal last week. 

The specialised medical team, funded by humanitarian aid mission Gift of the Givers, had been deployed to hospitals across the capital Kathmandu as the injured from outlying areas, who until now had been cut-off by landslides, flood into medical facilities.

Read more on:    nepal  |  nepal earthquake

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