POKHARA EAR CAMP NOVEMBER 2013

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Osim Pariya is a five-year old boy who is deaf and has no understandable speech. Osim had a severe infection when he was one. Local doctors inserted grommets that unfortunately did nothing to improve his hearing. Osim’s grandfather, Biri Pariya brought him to the Pokhara Camp. Biri had been a trekking guide until his leg was amputated. He was rehabilitated at the Green Pastures Hospital where he heard about the Ear Camp. Biri now looks after Osim full-time as he has not been able to find any work since the amputation.
Biri himself has a large cyst behind his left ear which would be easy to remove but he declined the offer as his wife thought it would be unlucky to lose it.

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Osim was seen by the Swiss team of audiologists who gave him excellent hearing aids so that he was able to hear something for the first time. As he now needs to learn to utilise his residual hearing, Eka Dev suggested a special school in Pokhara where Osim could flourish.

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Nam Acharya Bikas
 is 27 years old and from Pokhara. Although he was born with severe hearing loss, he can lip read even in English! Nam’s mother is a widow who is now a teacher. She has a daughter who had polio as a child and is handicapped but she managed to cope and become a nurse. In spite of the tremendous difficulties faced by the family, Nam is studying to become an electrical engineer.

Eight years ago, Nam was given a large hearing aid that did not work for him and he gave up using it. He then had an operation in Kathmandu that was unsuccessful in improving hearing. At this camp, he was given two new hearing aids and Nam was able to hear more clearly for the very first time in his life. He left the Camp smiling broadly, clutching the prayer that Indra gave him and with the promise of a new future.

Parmila Gharti Mangal is twenty-five and took two days to reach the camp. Clutching her small child in her arms, she trekked for a whole day then took a long bus journey to reach the Ear Camp from her home.

Parmila had an infection in her right ear when she was small and had an operation but it did not stop the infection. She had a lot of pus coming out of both ears. She can hear a little on both sides and lip reads. She heard about the camp on FM radio and is hoping to be operated on.


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Nana Gurung 
is 84 and comes from Machhapuchare VDC (Village Development Committee) which is 25 km from Pokhara. She has some hearing loss and hopes to get a hearing aid.




Sagar Gurung is four. He is an only child who lives in Lamjung, 28 km from Pokhara with his father, a farm labourer. Sagar has been a deaf mute since birth. In spite of his handicap, his father said he is a clever boy keen to learn. It was felt that he would not benefit from a surgical procedure so he was taken to the audio department where he was given a hearing aid. Immediately afterwards, Sagar responded to snapping fingers and he beamed with delight. It will take about 6 months for Sagar to relate the sound to speech but hopefully, his brain will make the right connections while he is still just young enough to learn spoken language. The video clip shows him leaving the Camp and is a testament to the life-changing effect the Team had on the life of a small boy.

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Susmita Gautam
 is a nineteen year old student from Pokhara who hopes to be a doctor. She lives 18 km from Pokhara with her doting parents who accompanied her. In 2005, she was treated locally for an ear infection. Unfortunately, she thinks that the doctor she saw punctured her left ear drum by mistake, starting an infection. She has a perforation in that left ear that will be operated on at this Camp.

Eight years ago, when Susmita had a severe infection, she said that Mike Smith saved her from meningitis. Susmita now insisted on seeing him as she believed he is the best doctor in the world! She said this as she had travelled elsewhere and had not been satisfied.

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Subas Bikram Rana
 is an orphan aged 19. He comes from Miruwa near Pokhara. He left school in Grade 9 and is out of work as he cannot hear and has an obvious physical impairment, a congenital deformity where his ear canal is incomplete and the external ear deformed. He had enquired about an operation in China but it was too expensive and he heard that the infection rate there is very high. An INF employee told him about the Camp. Ideally, he would like to have cosmetic surgery as no one will employ him in his current state. His job prospects would be dramatically better if he could hear well.

Subas underwent a complex operation and should recover completely in the next six months. He was also given a hearing aid. Hopefully his treatment will ensure he is able to find employment. He will get regular follow up by the team in Pokhara and at the next ear camp.

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Girthaman Tamman
 is a twelve year-old boy from Pokhara who has been deaf in his right ear for three years following an ear infection. Girthaman has been in pain for the past three years and after his three hour operation took a long time to come round from the anaesthetic and sedation. The accompanying family members were hungry and anxious to leave but could not until he awoke, so they were given chocolates to ensure they stayed until Girthaman recovered!

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Girthaman surrounded by his family in the recovery area.

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The Patients' Stories displayed above were all related to Linda Falter,
mostly through interpreters, at the Ear Camp in Pokhara in November 2013.
Patients have all given their consent to the information being displayed.




CHAINPUR, BHAJANG, APRIL 2013

1 - Durga Lal Thapa

A 50 year old female had never been to school. She is a farmer and housewife and spends her time cooking, cleaning and sleeping. She has three sons who live with her and her husband, but cannot communicate with any of them due to her hearing loss, so just cooks and cleans and sleeps. She was accompanied by 3 younger women from her home near Dhangadi, called Chisopani in Karnali. She travelled on the night bus leaving at 6 pm and arriving at 10 AM. They are staying in the hotel.
She had surgery on the right and a bone conductor hearing aid on the left.
She greeted Peggy with a Christian greeting.
She felt the hearing aid helped her immediately and is very very happy because it will stop her being so isolated.
The young women with her were very surprised that they did not have to shout anymore to be heard.

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2 - 
Amma (mother)

Works by cutting grass, carrying wood in baskets and feeding the buffalo. Her niece accompanied her and says that a hearing aid is not suitable for her type of work, but Amma herself wants it.
She lives 15-20 minutes away by bus in a big village with 3-4000 people.

Amma has come to live permanently in her mother’s house because her husband has another wife. Her husband lives a 7-hour walk away.
Four years ago her hearing started to deteriorate slowly.
Her speaking is affected and her niece shouts. She is isolated and goes to sleep while the family chats.

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3 - 
Mandara Sayar

Is a 40 year old Chettri man. He has had hearing loss since he was a small boy. He is from Dhangadi 8 ward, which is a 2-hour bus ride from Chainpur. Eighty people live in the village and the guardian calls it a big village. There is no electricity in his house.
His parents came from that village but are both dead now.
He went to school but only to one class because of his hearing loss. He works as a ‘mystery man’ doing plumbing, electrical, ‘DIY’ and farming. He is the village dharmi (shaman or witchdoctor). He has never cut his hair.

He doesn't know what is happening or going on around him because of his hearing loss. There are no other people in his family with hearing loss. He is married with 3 boys and 1 girl.
He does not feel there are problems at home because of his hearing. He can listen on his mobile.

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4 - 
Two 7-year-old girls

Both had extensive bilateral cholesteatoma disease in their ears.
One Tibetan extraction girl had both sides operated 3 days apart, then ear dressings changed with a short anaesthetic on the last camp day.
The other girl had one side mastoidectomy and her parents plan to attend our next ear camp in Pokhara in 7 months time to have the other ear operated. In all these operations the intention was to clear disease but also reconstruct the hearing with ossiculoplasties.

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