(Photo copyright American Himalayan Foundation, used with permission)
Two happy patients in the process of healing. Each month, the Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children performs over a hundred life-changing orthopedic surgeries for disadvantaged Nepali children who suffer from crippling injuries and congenital disabilities. Patients come to HRDC from throughout the country, and the Center provides the necessary follow-up care through home visits, mobile camps, and satellite centers.
HRCD: A Children's Orthopedic Hospital (from AHF's web site)...
Eighteen years ago, AHF was introduced to an extraordinary doctor. He had trained in the U.S. and come back to his homeland determined to help Nepal's disabled children. Dr. Ashok Banskota's passion to heal poor children with clubfeet, TB of the spine, polio, untreated burns and infections has led him, and us, on a journey of miracles. We have supported him through two makeshift hospitals, helped him build a new, modern hospital just outside Kathmandu and now fund his surgical costs.
Dr. Banskota tells us the miracles are the children, who come from poor families who sometimes cannot afford even a bus ticket to reach the hospital. Many arrive with disfigured bodies and fearful faces. In the loving hands of the surgeons, nurses and hospital staff, the children transform. Some must have steel wires inserted into bones to stabilize or pull a limb straight. Others experience long surgeries and months of physical therapy. Their faces belie the physical pain. They beam with smiles, they throw jokes and sing songs. They tell us that love heals.
Every child who comes to the Hospital and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children is well cared for, and every day children leave the hospital with the ability to walk, leap and play. In the last year Dr. Banskota and his team performed over thirteen-hundred life-changing surgeries. AHF also offers scholarships to orthopedic residents who train with Dr. Banskota and who then become the backbone of his surgical team.