Sumaira, the hope of living an independent life
Sumaira, 8 years old, was born with the congenital development disorder Spina Bifida . Despite her parents' best efforts to provide her with care, Sumaira is unable to stand up and walk unaided. Before she started receiving care from Handicap International, she was fully dependent on her parents for all her day-to-day needs.
Our local team have been helping Sumaira as she learns to walk for the first time. India. | © D. Van Ophalvens / Handicap International
Sumaira lives in the village of Zazna Ganderbal, 28 kilometres from the nearest town. Having heard about the association from one of his neighbours, a Handicap International beneficiary, her father decided to see if they could help his daughter. Sumaira attended her first consultation at the Ganderbal rehabilitation centre on 7 January 2010, accompanied by her father. Dislhad and Laila, a Handicap International occupational therapist and physiotherapist, collected the necessary information on her disability and her needs, in order to establish a rehabilitation schedule.
Sumaira now attends the centre every day to receive care. After several rehabilitation sessions, she is starting to eat with her hands, to dress herself and to practice washing herself. On 15 January, Sumaira had a consultation with an orthopaedic specialist who considered she would need a surgical intervention to correct the malformation of her feet. Prior to the operation, Handicap International continued Sumaira’s treatment to prevent the onset of further malformations.
On1st July 2012 Sumaira underwent an operation. She benefited directly from post-operative nursing care and physiotherapy to fully recover from her operation. Once the fixations were removed, Sumaira was able to stand up supported with an orthosis , and to continue her rehabilitation at the Ganderbal centre. Gradually, the organisation's teams will be able to help her to walk, supported by the orthosis and a walking aid.
The extent of Sumaira’s progress has given her parents the hope of one day seeing their daughter leading an independent life, like any other child.