Many Indians suffer limb loss and paralysis as a result of accidents and disease. The Rehabilitation Institute has a superb record of treating those affected and helping both the patient and their family secure a sustainable lifestyle. In some cases the Institute has helped those affected set up small businesses within their physical capacity. Patients in “Rehab” can be there for many weeks and the impact on families can be great. The Institute is both a centre of excellence for medical help and a source of real hope for those often suddenly suffering a life changing set back.
In 2016 the Rehabilitation Institute (Rehab) at CMC celebrated its Golden Jubilee – 50 years since it was founded by the famous “wheelchair surgeon” Dr Mary Varghese. Like the founder of Rehab, many of their patients require wheelchairs. The British charity, Motivation, make wheelchairs which are far better than the clunky, locally-made version, but are double the price. So poorer self-paying patients tend to opt for the local ones. CMC has recently set up a charitable fund to help purchase Motivation wheelchairs for deserving patients. Thanks to a lovely donation, we were able to send £2,145 in 2015 to Rehab for their wheelchair fund. Below is the story of Rohit who benefitted from this grant.
It has been a joy to be able to help such a hard-working young man as Rohit. He and his wife won the respect of all at Rehab, during the time he was there as an inpatient. The couple have two daughters. Their younger daughter, two and a half year old Sudheeksha came with them to Rehab. The little girl brought a smile to everyone’s face.
Rohit comes from a village in Jharkhand, two days train journey to the north east of Vellore. His father is a rickshaw puller. Financially the family were struggling. As a young teenager, having completed 6th standard in school his parents sent him to work in Delhi to boost the family income. He did a variety of jobs, picking up a number of skills along the way. While in Delhi he took up the challenge to complete his schooling, through the “Open School”. He became a hotel cleaner. The hotel owner was very impressed with this enterprising lad and subsequently gave him the opportunity to learn to cook.
In July 2015, now aged 25, Rohit was visiting a village to attend a funeral. He climbed a tree to cut wood for the funeral pyre when he lost his balance and fell to the ground. His lower spine was injured, so that he lost the use of his legs. He lay in the government hospital in Jharkhand for two months. Neighbours told him that he was not getting proper therapy and that he should go to CMC. The family sold the little land that they owned to defray the costs of getting to CMC, where he was admitted to Rehab in November 2015.
The whole team of doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists has been involved in Rohit’s rehabilitation. His wife, who stays with him, has been totally supportive from the beginning. At first the quiet, resourceful young man doubted his abilities. The staff worked to give him confidence to work from a wheelchair. Using his strengths, his cooking skills were developed and a business plan was drawn up as to how he could earn a living from cooking.
Of course Rohit needed a wheelchair. Whereas cheap, locally-made wheelchairs are available, the team felt that he really needed the more versatile, light-weight and robust chair available through the British charity Motivation. The full cost of this wheelchair is £126. Rohit managed to give £5 towards the cost but there was no way in which he and his family could cover the full cost. The team at Rehab were very happy to be able to use some of the donation from FOV to help this commendable young man and his family.