You Have Restored Krishna’s Hand

Supa Thejan from The Leprosy Mission Australia tells us this story of a young man he met when he visited Anandaban Hospital in Nepal.

“I was really keen to visit the physiotherapy ward as part of my visit to Anandaban.

I met the physio as he was working with a young guy named Krishna. Krishna was happy to have his photo taken and to tell me his story of how he ended up at Anandaban.

He had been diagnosed with leprosy about 14 months ago.

He told me that he had been working as a bus conductor in India for a short time.

He lives with his sister. He didn’t want to talk about his parents, simply saying “There’s only her and me in our family and I look after her”.

While working on the buses he noticed that there is a numbness in his left hand and he couldn’t grip anything properly.

He went to a local pharmacy and was given some medication, but it didn’t help and after a while his hand got worse.

He tried the local hospital who told him to cross into Nepal and head to Anandaban Hospital outside Kathmandu. It was only when he got here that he was told he had leprosy.

He has just finished his 12 month course of Multi Drug Therapy. He has also been having physiotherapy on his hand to prepare for surgery to reconstruct his fingers so that he can get back to his normal life. It turned out that this was his last physio session and the operation was scheduled for the next day!

He showed me his hand and the physiotherapist pointed out how the fingers were curled over and bent slightly backwards. Krishna couldn’t straighten his fingers at all.

They worked through a series of exercises including picking up and holding some wooden blocks. Other exercises focused on moving and bending just his middle finger.

When I asked what was special about the middle finger, the physiotherapist explained that the tendon in the middle finger is the strongest and during the operation it would be split across all 4 fingers. He will then be able to move all 4 fingers together to grip by moving his middle fingers.

They wanted him to feel confident with this movement so he doesn’t get confused after the surgery.

He will have a strong grip again, but won’t be able to move each finger separately.

I was amazed by his courage and that he agreed to talk with me and have photos taken, with a big smile on his face, just before such a significant operation.

We agreed that his photos look great and I joked that he should become an actor in Bollywood – he laughed at the suggestion.

I asked him what he wants to do after the surgery.

“I want to go back to my previous job and earn some money so I can look after my sister.”

The next two months will be quite crucial and challenging for him but he is more than ready for it. The hospital staff are giving him all the care he needs and he should be fully recovered and ready to go back to his normal life in two months time.

The next day I saw him waiting to be wheeled into the theatre. He was lying on the bed with a determined look on his face waiting to face the challenge that was coming.

I went to see him the next morning. He was happy to see me.

The operation had been a success. The medical team are confident that with the new mechanism in his hand, he will be able to move his fingers well enough to have a good strong grip with his hand.

He looked really hopeful for his future.”

Your loving support for Anandaban Hospital means that people like Krishna be healed of their leprosy and supported to rebuild a better life. Thank You.

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27th May 2022

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Opinions are the authors own and not necessarily those of The Leprosy Mission Scotland.