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Thankful for a New Life in Nepal

  • April 21, 2016
  • Photos by William Vazquez
  • Emergency Programs, Asia and Eurasia, Nepal Earthquake

Junkiri is delighted to greet guests at the door of her home in Panchpata, Nepal. She’s even more happy to show friends and family how easily she can cook and work the small plot of land where she farms. These simple tasks are a reason for celebration because, after the powerful earthquake sent her home tumbling down on top of her, Junkiri suffered from a severely dislocated knee. Movement, including walking, was impossible. She lost weight and hope for the future.

Junkiri owes her newfound health to the rehabilitation center that AmeriCares built and operates in partnership with the International Organization for Migration. Immediately after the earthquake, AmeriCares emergency programs team saw a need for a long-term rehabilitation facility where patients could regain the full functionality they need to resume their family and work lives. Local hospitals did not have the room, staff or skills to help patients completely heal.

Junkiri knew this all too well: After her brother rescued her from the rubble of her home and rushed her to the hospital, doctors diagnosed a dislocated right knee and severe cuts. Her knee was put in a cast and she received antibiotics. But when Junkiri was discharged 16 days later, she still could not bend her knee or walk and bed rest further weakened her.

After an outreach team from the rehabilitation center came to Panchpata and screened patients, Junkiri received physiotherapy at the center for two weeks at no charge. It was the quality care that she needed. “I felt like I was getting care in my mother’s home,” she says. Physiotherapists gave Junkiri exercises she could continue at home.

‘I can cook, sit on a stool and easily bend my knee,” says Junkiri. “And I can work in my field as well. I am a poor farmer with a small piece of land; I have to work in the field every day to grow food. I am really thankful to the rehabilitation center and the center’s donors for giving me a new life.”