Imagine the feeling of panic, if we were to lose our sight for just five minutes. Imagine walking along a typical Indian road, in total darkness. On World Sight Day be thankful for your eyes, and spare a thought for those who can’t see.
Fifty-four-year-old Sivam* was born blind. He comes from a poor family in Vellore. Blindness and poverty are a lethal combination, especially in India.
We met Sivam last month at the Orthopaedic department. He had undergone hip surgery a few months back and was there for his review. We expected to meet someone who was struggling to cope because of his formidable handicap. Instead, we were struck by his matter-of-fact, ordinary dignity. When he first came to CMC though, he was a man very close to losing his last shred of dignity and hope.
It was in the first week of January 2020, and Sivam was returning after a religious meeting. He slipped on a stone and fell into a roadside ditch and badly injured his legs and hip. The time was 2.45 pm on a rainy afternoon and the roads were almost deserted. Fortunately, a lady noticed his fall and came to help him. She called up the family at whose house he stayed and sent him home safely in an auto.
The two months after his fall was an extremely difficult time for Sivam. He is unmarried and both his parents are dead; his father passed away when he was still a teenager. Now he only has an older brother to look after him. They made two or three more trips to different traditional bandage experts but these provided only temporary relief. Soon he was completely bedridden and unable even to go to the toilet.
Hope and Healing
Mr Chandrashekhar works for the Vellore branch of the NGO ‘Udhavum Ullangal’ (Helping Hearts), which had supported Sivam for the past few years. He heard about what happened and brought him to CMC. The X-rays showed a displaced fractured neck of femur – a broken hip bone. The doctors advised surgery. So, Chandrashekhar arranged for an attendant to stay with Sivam in hospital during his recovery after the surgery.
Hip replacement for Sivam
On the 3rd of March, our Orthopeadic team operated on Sivam. They did a hip replacement. The operation and hospital stay were completely free for Sivam. Since then he has made a steady recovery. And today he is able to walk again, with only his trusty white cane for aid.
Help us Give Hope to the Poor
One of the greatest joys and privileges we have is our ability to offer quality healthcare either free or at a subsidised cost that patients can afford. This subsidised healthcare can restore hope and some measure of dignity to the lives of poor and marginalised patients like Sivam. Partnering with like-minded people is another wonderful privilege. Your donations help us provide subsidised care to these patients.
Compassion from a stranger lifted Sivam from the ditch.
CMC’s medical care set him back on his feet.
Please join us as we reach out to others like him. Your gift to the Emergency Fund can turn lives around!
Story and picture contributed by the Department of Orthopaedics
World Sight Day
India has about 56 million people who are blind or have poor sight. Many of these people can be helped by eye doctors and/or glasses. Sadly, cannot get to such care.
Eye Care at CMC
Eyecare at CMC is provided by the Ophthalmology department. They are based at the Schell hospital campus. However, they also do many community-based clinics and eye camps to help bring to more people. Sivam, sadly, has a form of blindness that we cannot cure. But for many others, the CMC Ophthalmology department can help and give sight to the blind.
Hip Fractures in the Elderly.
Fractured neck of femur, or a broken hip, can occur in the elderly after a simple fall. The bones become more brittle as we age and the fractured hip is a common result. The ideal treatment for a fractured hip in the elderly is usually surgery. This surgery is done by the orthopaedic surgeons who specialise in fractured bones and bone-related diseases. However, the elderly often have other medical problems that may mean surgery is not the best treatment for some people.
Operate as soon as possible
Ideally, surgery for a fractured hip is done within a day or two of the fall. Sadly, Sivam had to wait around 2 months before he came to CMC. Two months of pain and suffering that could have been avoided. So please advise people to come to the hospital as soon as possible to be checked. An early operation can reduce complications and speed up recovery.
Surgery can be expensive. But with the help of our donors, we are able to help people like Sivam who could not afford the surgery.
You can read more about the Orthopaedic Department here. CMC recently started teleconsultation services as a way to help patients during the Corona Virus pandemic. To begin with, this was for review patients (patients who visited CMC before) but now new patients can get appointments with some departments. You can book teleconsultation with the orthopaedic department here: Teleconsultation at CMC.