Hindu Mission Hospital has so far provided 300 limbs through its free artificial limb camp held every month
After a lorry accident, life was not the same for A. Kolanghiappan (48) from Cuddalore. His left leg had to be amputated due to the severity of his injuries, and he struggled to come to terms with it. Help came in the form of a free artificial limb camp organised by Hindu Mission Hospital.
“The doctors measured the area that would be my new leg and after a month, I was called in to the hospital, where my new leg was attached to my body. This happened a year ago and after that I have even travelled to Sabiramala with my new leg,” says Kolanghiappan.
The monthly camp that was first started in August 2012 has given several people a new lease of life. “We have given 300 limbs till date,” said V.V. Subramaniyam, secretary, Hindu Mission Hospital. The camp is sponsored by Rotary Club of Tiruchi Mid Town, Shirdi Sai Trust, and Ortho Club of Tiruchi.
The camp is organised on the fourth Sunday of every month, wherein patients are first measured and later called in the next month for getting the limb affixed. Around 20 people are measured every month, say doctors.
“The age group of patients varies from 3 years to 70 years, and they come from diverse backgrounds - students, professionals, drivers, even a temple priest,” says Dr. Subramaniyam.
He says that not only the local residents of Tiruchi, but people from nearby areas such as Perambalur, Ariyalur, Lalgudi, and even Tirunelveli and Madurai visit the hospital to get artificial limbs free of cost.
The people who can use artificial limbs include those whose leg was amputated due to blood vessel clotting, diabetics who had to get amputations, accidents-related amputations, and some cases of cancer amputations, according to Dr. Subramaniyam.
“The limbs are made of a material called UPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride). Their average cost is around Rs. 3,000, but we are providing them free of cost,” says Dr. Subramaniyam.
He adds that while senior citizens take to artificial limbs without any inhibitions, youngsters find it hard to cope and feel awkward. Such patients are counselled.