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Nepal earthquake: “When the ground stopped shaking, it was total devastation”

Emergency Rehabilitation
Nepal

Sudan Rimal, 29, works as a physiotherapist for HI in Nepal. Since the country was hit by an earthquake on 25th April 2015, he has assisted hundreds of casualties, providing them with rehabilitation care and helping them learn to walk again. This is his personal account.

HI physiotherapist Sudan with Nirmala, one of the earthquake victims he supports

HI physiotherapist Sudan with Nirmala, one of the earthquake victims he supports | © Lucas Veuve/ HI

 “I was 26. I’d been working for HI for five days. I was tying a patient’s bandage in Bir Trauma Center hospital, Kathmandu, when the earth suddenly began to shake.

Everyone ran towards the exit. I stayed with my patient. We went downstairs and took shelter on a lower floor. Everyone was screaming. When the ground stopped shaking, it was total devastation.

“There were a lot of fatalities and we had to transport the bodies. We worked really hard for days and months without stopping. There were so many casualties. I learned to keep my cool and work in an emergency situation. I think that I can do pretty much anything now.

I worked with two little girls – Nirmala and Khendo – who were buried under the walls of their home. They both lost a leg. Every day, I massaged their stump, taught them exercises and encouraged them to get back on their feet.

It’s been three years now, and Nirmala and Khendo are incredible. They can walk again and go to school. Nirmala wants to be an actress, Khendo, a primary school teacher or nurse, to ‘care for the injured’.

I’m glad I helped those children, adults, all the victims. I love my job and I feel really committed to it.

Special report: Nepal, three years after the earthquake

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