Tonai, a two-year-old child in Bihar, seemed consigned to endure a life of misery after a fire accident left him without the ability to move his right hand. All his fingers were bound together.
Now, three years down the line, the boy is active as any child could be after undergoing a three-stage reconstruction surgery.
Augustin (32) thought that he had survived a life-threatening accident in Bhavani, Erode district, only to endure a fate worse than death, for he was unable to move, even slightly, both his arms with nobody but his 63-year-old mother to support him.
Now, post surgery, he is able to travel again and live independently.
For Nithya Sree, a child from Athur, Salem district, her entire life seemed to have slipped from her as an accident in 2010 left her left hand burnt and a thumb getting deformed. She was left unable to hold any object.
Now, she has regained movement in her left thumb and has become active.
These three are among the 51 patients who have undergone 60 procedures under ‘Hope after Fire,’ a project undertaken jointly by the Ganga Hospital and Rotary Club of Coimbatore Metropolis. It was launched by actor Suriya in March 2012 to provide free/subsidised surgeries for correction of disabling deformities resulting from burns.
While the total value of the surgeries amount to Rs.17.20 lakh, the Rotary Club had contributed Rs.9.03 lakh with the hospital bearing the rest by performing the surgeries free of charge, according to S. Raja Sabapathy, chairman of the project and Head of the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Microsurgery at the hospital.
Just one surgery, he said, involved three stages spread across eight hours and three months of physiotherapy, with the cost totalling Rs. 75,000. These kind of surgeries could cost anywhere between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1 lakh. So far, he said that 37 surgeries involved correcting deformities in hands and ten of the face.
Addressing a function on Saturday that was organised to bring the beneficiaries together, he said that more than 1.46 lakh people died of burns in India every year and many more survived fire accidents but lived with serious deformities for the rest of their lives. This initiative was open to every one with people from other districts and other States benefiting from it.
K. Kasturirangaian, Chairman, Indian Wind Power Association; Sabin Viswanath, president, Rotary Club of Cochin Metropolis; J.G. Shanmuganathan, Chairman, Ganga Hospital; G. Ravichandran, president, Rotary Club of Coimbatore Metropolis; spoke.
Mr. Kasturirangaian and Mr. Viswanath handed over cheques for Rs. 50,000 each towards the project.