Ashok can’t believe his eyes seeing Laxmi playing and running around with great joy when he visited her last. Her new leg has transformed her life completely. She couldn’t wait to show Ashok everything she is now able to do.
Some days are never forgotten. It was possibly my last home visit to see Laxmi (one of cbm’s representative Sponsor Children) at her remote hilly village in Dhading district of Nepal. After we identified her a year ago, I had been closely following Laxmi’s intervention at HRDC (a cbm partner), her first steps on her prosthesis, and seen her transform bit by bit. In the process, I had developed a very strong bond with Laxmi – now 11 years old.
There are moments like little Laxmi offering me a bunch of marigold flowers, taking me for a walk early morning, and teaching me to feed the cattle – all of which are very special. Although Laxmi was a bit shy with others, over time, she could share a lot of her feelings with me. She once told me that she didn’t felt like leaving HRDC at all, and that it was nice to be with children like her at the hospital. And more recently, she shared that the prosthesis had gradually become an ‘integral’ part of her life – and often it was difficult to believe she actually could walk upright and do so many things, after years of waiting.
So, here I was, perhaps meeting Laxmi for the last time. The short visit at Laxmi’s school that afternoon was incredible. It was wonderful to see Laxmi attend her classes, take part in classroom activities, and of all, laugh and play with her friends. And as we walked together from her school to her house – all of these memories were coming back to me and I was very happy for Laxmi. But, something more incredible was waiting to happen.
Just as we arrived at Laxmi’s house, she expressed that she would like to play football with me, and rushed inside the hut to get a ball. What I saw thereafter was a moment I will cherish forever: Laxmi ran around and tried to kick the ball, and was lost in a world of her own. She giggled throughout and took everyone by surprise. She had done this for the first time – kick a ball with her ‘new’ leg. Mother Shantamaya too couldn’t believe her eyes and was overcome by nostalgia. “I am so thankful that Laxmi is able to run and play just like the other children. A year ago, who would have imagined that she would run and play around like this? It really means a lot to us. It’s a dream come true…” the mother said, as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Some days are never forgotten, indeed.
Warm regards from Kathmandu
Written by Ashok, our field co-ordinator in Nepal.