Sandesh, 14: “When I stood up for the first time I was so happy”
After losing both legs in the Nepal earthquake, Sandesh, 14, thought he would never walk again. But after being fitted with prosthetic legs by Handicap International, he recently took his first steps.
© Lucas Veuve / Handicap International
Sandesh was on his lunch break when the earth began to shake. Along with his classmates he fled his room. Outside, the wall collapsed on top of him, pinning him to the ground.
“I was playing chase with a friend in the corridor. We were going to hide under the beds but then we decided to run,” he says. “Then the wall fell down on me. I was unconscious until I got to hospital.”
Sandesh was rescued from the rubble and after reaching hospital he received the terrible news that his best friend had been killed.
Sandesh was in a critical condition himself. His shoulder was seriously injured and his left leg was so badly damaged that it had to be amputated straight away. The doctors did all they could to save his remaining leg but, after seven days, the decision was taken to amputate his right leg too.
During his time in hospital, Sandesh felt very unmotivated and found it difficult to accept his condition. However, with help from Handicap International therapists and a fellow patient Ramesh Kitra, he was able to slowly come to terms with his disability. He gradually began to use his wheelchair, followed by crutches, until he received his prosthetic legs.
Sandesh explains, “I thought I would never walk again. When I stood up for the first time I was so happy.”