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Jan 28th
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Home Global Activities Asia Mithushi Returned to Melaka for Treatment

Mithushi Returned to Melaka for Treatment

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In 2008, and with Tzu Chi’s help, Mithushi, a congenial scoliosis patient from Sri Lanka, underwent an operation at Melaka Mahkota Medical Centre to correct her spine. Early this year, one of her spinal support bars broke and protruded from her back. She had to return for treatment and Melaka volunteers welcomed her with warm hospitality.

At approximately 8 am on August 2, 2013, Mithushi arrived at KL International Airport, accompanied by her mother, Kusumalatha, and volunteer, Salome. They were met on arrival by volunteers, who brought them to Melaka.

At about 10.30 am, they arrived at Melaka Mahkota Medical Centre, where they were welcomed by another team of volunteers. After taking the beverage and food prepared by the volunteers, Mithushi was led into Dr. Jeyaratnam Satkunasingam’s clinic. The latter was very happy to see her and gave her a big hug.

When Tzu Chi volunteers discovered the 9-year old Mithushi at a free medical outreach held by the Singapore team in Sri Lanka in 2008, her condition was critical. Her deformed spine was affecting her respiratory system and appearance.

Due to the lack of medical facilities in Sri Lanka, Tzu Chi volunteers decided to bring her to Malaysia for the necessary treatment and funded the medical fees.

Early this year, a spinal support bar broke and partly protruded from her back, causing an infected wound. As a result of this problem, she had to return for treatment earlier than her scheduled appointment to replace the temporary support installed in 2008.

In view of her condition, Dr Jeya decided to remove the temporary support now and install the permanent one at the end of this year. Although it was a minor surgery that would take about an hour to perform, Dr. Jeya requested volunteer Salome to help translate his explanation to comfort the anxious mother.

The hardworking Mithushi

Salome said Mithushi suffered great pain walking on a bumpy dirt road to school everyday even with her mother helping to carry her school bag. The journey is 40 minutes one way.

Mithushi is a hardworking student. She has achieved good results and intends to be a doctor and a volunteer in future. Realizing that English is an important language, she is studying hard to master it and hopes that one day she can express her gratitude in English to the volunteers.

A courageous girl

Her operation was scheduled on August 5. At 6 am, volunteers accompanied Mithushi to the hospital and handled the admission procedures. Mother Kusumalatha was very worried for her daughter since the day the doctor announced that an operation was required. While waiting outside the operating theatre, she cried. Mithushi, however, did not cry before or after the operation. She emerged from the operating theater at about 1 pm.

Volunteers took turns to visit Mithushi while she was hospitalized. On August 7, she was discharged but had to return to the hospital regularly for dressing and so on. On August 16, the doctor announced that she could go home and fixed an appointment for her to return in December this year to have the permanent support fixed.

Love begets love

Mithushi, her mother and Salome stayed at a house belonging to another volunteer, Saw Bee Tin. Volunteer Lau Tang Chiang, who coordinated the caring duty roster said, “We can’t share the pain but we can give love and care. Despite the language barrier, we can still express our love with our actions.” Mithushi reciprocated her love by giving her a big hug and a kiss at their second meeting!

Volunteer Wong Boi Moi was very happy to meet Mithushi again. She could still recall how cheerful and lovable she was then. She said Mithushi has grown quite a bit compared to 5 years ago.

Volunteers were very happy to learn that Mithushi chants the Buddha’s name every morning and evening. They asked her to demonstrate, and laughter could be heard coming from the ward. Mother Kusumalatha also smiled.

After Mithushi’s discharge from hospital, Bee Tin brought her to experience Tzu Chi’s work. First, they visited a care-recipient, whose home was messy. It reminded Mithushi that the first thing she should do upon her return home was to clean up her house. Salome encouraged the father not to give up and hoped that he can be a good example for his children.

They also had the chance to help in the recycling centre and making of moon cakes. Volunteers greeted Mithushi warmly and hoped that she could put on some weight as she was very thin.

Mithushi is very mature for her age. She has never admired others for having a healthy body. Instead, she said it is more important to focus on enriching knowledge and improving her personality. May this little warrior of life have a bright future.

By Yen Yu Chu, Melaka
Translated by Hew Kwee Heong
【News】Tzu Chi in The World

" We all have a pure and clear Buddha nature, obscured by afflictions and delusion. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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