Through your amazing kindness and generosity, our Heal Nepal campaign has given hope and healing to many people, including Santosh who has now been given prosthetic legs to help him walk again!
Recently, GB Paralympian Stef Reid visited Anandaban Hospital in Nepal to see for herself the way your generosity is changing lives
GB Paralympian Stef Reid lost her right foot in a boating accident, aged 15. Her talent and tenacity have seen her become a triple Paralympic medallist in the long jump and 200 metre sprint, but it is her heart to encourage others struggling with disability that makes her stand out. She recently took time out of training for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to meet leprosy patients at The Leprosy Mission’s Anandaban Hospital in Nepal.
So that Stef might literally ‘walk in the shoes’ of a leprosy-affected person, she had her state-of-the-art prosthetic foot replaced with one made in the workshop at Anandaban Hospital.
She said: “A lot of the way they did the casting was really similar to what I experience in the UK, and this is bearing in mind I go to an amazing private clinic.
“I’m genuinely blown away by what the team here have been able to accomplish. “I’m so impressed and pleased that the patients at Anandaban Hospital have this sort of facility on site.”
The team at Anandaban Hospital can now find, cure and heal thousands more people living with untreated leprosy through outreach camps.
In the cases where leprosy has been left to do its worst, your gifts will provide patients with life-changing and expert care at Anandaban Hospital. Our team in Nepal are incredibly grateful for your support and they thank you from the bottom of their hearts. They are excited to tell you about the lives you have changed!
Jyoti, 33, was diagnosed with leprosy by a doctor at her local community hospital who had been trained at Anandaban Hospital. Jyoti was frightened when she was first diagnosed; she was pregnant with Mala at the time and she knew of a lady who had become severely disabled because of leprosy. Thankfully, because of your gifts, the doctor was able to recognise the symptoms and provide the cure for leprosy before disability set in.
Although Jyoti’s husband has received counselling from Anandaban Hospital and is standing by his wife, sadly Jyoti still faces stigma in her village.
Stef said: “There was a mutual understanding when meeting people like Jyoti that sometimes life is really hard and we all go through hard things, but there’s still hope at the end of it.
“It has become so clear to me that it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, or what culture you are from, we all want the same things. We all want to provide a safe home for our family and we want to be healthy and part of a community. Jyoti is so grateful for support from people like you. She said, ‘I do not know where I would be without Anandaban Hospital.’”
Jyoti’s name means light and that is exactly what you have brought into her life through your gifts and prayers.
Thanks to your generosity, Santosh has now been fitted with prosthetics and can begin a new life on two feet.
Twenty-year-old Santosh first showed signs of leprosy when he was just four but, tragically, he was not diagnosed until many years later. Due to serious infection, Santosh had to have both of his lower legs amputated – the only way to save his life.
Santosh was delighted to meet Stef and quickly bonded with her when he realised she was a fellow amputee.
Stef said: “I have been so impressed by what I’ve seen at Anandaban Hospital. It is not a case of ‘we’re going to give you some medication, we are going to offer you some support and some surgery if you need it and then send you on your way’ because that’s not the way to heal people. This is a full-on holistic approach.
“They understand that it doesn’t matter if you fix the body, if you don’t fix the heart, if you don’t change the view of the community; if you don’t ensure that people are independent financially, that they are able to take care of each other, then it’s just not going to work. This is what long-term care looks like.”