Today I would like to use my Friday’s blog entry for telling you how Monika is doing.
As I already told you, the surgery was completed successfully and without problems. In fact, it covered even more than planned! Monika’s left eye was operated, as she could not completely close it, her right arm, which she could not lift completely and the doctors patched an area on her chest as well. She thus had three big bandages: one around the head, over her eye, another around the chest, covering her arm and tightly bringing it into an upward position and a third one around her thigh, from where the doctors had taken skin to make the grafts on eye, arm and chest.
After we had spent the first days after the surgery with her, we went back home to Vrindavan while she was recovering in the hospital. When we came back to the hospital one week later, we picked up Monika’s grandmother and younger sister Vanshika on the way. Just as we had done in December after her first surgery, we transferred Monika from the hospital to a guest house nearby, so that she could go to get her dressings changed every second day. This time, her grandmother and younger sister decided to stay while her mother came back home to Vrindavan so that she could go to work.
They spent a good time together, a kind of holiday in an air-conditioned room in Delhi while the heat wave rushed over Vrindavan. In those hot days, we were happy that Monika was not in Vrindavan, as the heat is always difficult for her.
We picked her up after three more weeks in the guest house and brought her home – in good spirits and feeling already much better! A few days later, a package for Monika arrived at the Ashram: a tight jacket and a support for her head, both meant to support her burnt skin and grafts, preventing them from tightening themselves. She will have to wear those 24 hours now for approximately six months.
Of course, there is still a long way ahead for her and us. There will be one major surgery and several laser treatments in near future and in a few years the doctors will have to do cuts and grafts at the same places again, ensuring that the growing body keeps its functionality.
Right now however, Monika is just happy that the second step is over. So much has been achieved already! She can close both eyes completely, she can move her neck up and down as well as left and right and she can lift her arm up completely now! The swelling in her face and whole upper body has gone back. Isn’t it great how medicine can help?!
Monika has returned to our school where she will repeat the fifth class, of which she missed the first half last year due to her accident. Together with her, her younger sister comes to school now as well.
Another step has been completed! We thank everyone who has helped us along the way to give this girl and her family the support they needed – be it for her surgeries, the extended stay in Delhi or her education and future! We know we will help Monika on her future way – and hope you will, too!