Subha will need more corrective surgeries but her right hand may not regain its normal length

Subharakshitha was sleeping next to her grandmother behind a roadside garment shop in Egmore when a car crashed into the footpath last Thursday night.

The 10-year-old is now at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, her head and right arm swathed in yards of gauze. A student of W.P.A. Soundarapandian Higher Secondary School, Subha does not recall the accident.

“She underwent a four-hour procedure to sew up her skull on Thursday night. They shaved her head in parts and there are stitches on her head — at the base of her neck, a bow-like mark on the top of her skull and on her forehead. Sometimes she scratches her head because it itches. Maybe the wound is healing,” says her mother Manjula.

Subha has sustained injuries in the hip and the flesh on her left elbow has been torn out. Subha’s right hand is broken in four places and is now in a sling. Manjula said Subha had broken a bone in her left shoulder too.

Doctors have said that Subha would need more corrective surgeries at a later date but her right hand may not regain its normal length. “Doctors told us her right elbow is crushed,” Manjula said. “She eats only a quarter of an idli and that too must be soaked in warm water. Doctors advised me to give her lots of water to drink. I am very worried,” she said.

“We cannot even seek treatment at a private hospital as we don’t have the health card,” she said. The family had its photograph taken three years ago for the health card that would make them eligible for treatment under the chief minister’s health insurance scheme but are yet to get the card.

Subha’s father, Kumar, drives an autorickshaw and the family lives in Ayanavaram. “As my mother-in-law lives in Egmore, sometimes, I bring my daughter along so she can visit her grandmother. She plays with the children who accompany visitors to the hospital. I never thought it would come to this. Everything happened within seconds,” he said.

Manjula said both Muniraj and Subha were extricated from under the car. “Initially, nobody realised the children had been injured. They were rescued much later,” she said. Subha does not know her cousin Muniraj is dead.

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