Shakti is a 16-year-old girl with leprosy in Nepal. She’s not smiling in this picture because tragically, our help came too late.
“My neighbours hate me and won’t let me leave my house. They think I’ll infect their children. I just feel devastated.” – Shakti
She first got symptoms of leprosy when she was a very young child. After much searching for treatment, she was finally diagnosed as a teenager. When we met her in November 2021, Shakti was recovering from a below-the-knee amputation at Anandaban Hospital. This was the only way to save her life after ulcers caused by leprosy became severely infected.
“Sore red patches appeared on my legs. The skin wouldn’t heal and the wounds got bigger. Then they ulcerated,” she said. “It’s made me so sad. Everyone looks down on me. They don’t want me around them.”
In December 2021, she went home to give her leg a chance to heal and to see her family. In February 2022, she returned to Anandaban and we met her again. She was in the middle of preparations for her prosthetic leg fitting.
“I am really excited to get the prosthetic leg. I am doing my best to prepare my body for it, too, and the Anandaban staff have all been very helpful.” She adds, “I can’t wait to go back home walking on both of my feet and showing it to everyone. Especially to my siblings and my sister’s baby.”
Leprosy had taken such a hold that when Shakti reached The Leprosy Mission Anandaban Hospital Kathmandu, the only way to save her life was to amputate her leg.
“The doctor told me the disease had spread to the bone. I needed to have my leg amputated. I worked so hard to pass my school exams. I hoped to go on to university.”
You can hear her pain and regret, can’t you?
Shakti had wanted to enter the medical profession to fight against leprosy. She said:
“I dreamt of studying to become a doctor. But instead, I am here. All because the wounds wouldn’t heal. I can’t be a doctor without my leg.”
You may find it hard to understand how people with leprosy are so often rejected and shut out and made to suffer alone in shame. That this happens even to a child such as Shakti, but I hear stories like this almost every day. Somewhere in the world, a child is diagnosed with leprosy every 30 minutes. When I think about all the pain and rejection Shakti has suffered, I look to the hope offered by these words:
“I will bring together the lame and the outcasts, then they will be praised, instead of despised …” from Zephaniah 3:19 (CEV Bible)
This tragedy is this needless and lifelong disability could have been prevented.
Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) can completely cure a child of leprosy in just 12 months! (The cost? $10 a week – just two café coffees!)
That’s why I am asking Australians like you for your urgent help today – before it’s too late. Your CURE ONE donation now is the most effective action you can take to help heal a child from the hurt of leprosy. Not just the physical pain and the needless disability leprosy can cause but also the agony of rejection that a child with leprosy can suffer. Your kindness through The Leprosy Mission tells the child you help that they are precious and loved. It also shows their community that the child is not cursed and that leprosy is simply a disease that can be cured.
If you would consider helping cure one child of leprosy today, your gift will do three precious things for a child:
1. Support the delivery of 12 months’ supply of MDT.
2. Give dedicated ongoing care through healing and recovery.
3. Help restore the child to the life every child deserves.
The generosity and compassion of Australian Christians like you are the foundation of this healing ministry. More importantly, your personal actions of love tell people with leprosy, especially the children, that they are precious and welcomed, and worthy of care.
That’s how our wounds heal. The only way we can protect other children with leprosy from suffering a needless disability as Shakti has is to treat them early – before infection or permanent damage is done.
The Leprosy Mission has received a reliable supply of donated Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) medications. We have identified the children with leprosy who need help most. All that’s needed now to protect and cure one child of leprosy is Australian supporters like you. Together, we work to stop a child’s suffering before it starts and help precious children of God like Shakti to achieve their dreams. Your action through The Leprosy Mission Australia shows them they are loved, precious, and deserving of care.
Why is Shakti smiling?
Because not only is she cured of leprosy and on her way to walking again, she feels loved and seen.
The Leprosy Mission staff and counsellors talk to her almost every day and try to boost her spirits. “Here, everyone is nice to me, they all care about me. They tell me that I will be able to walk again soon,” she says.
Krishna, one of the prosthetics technicians at the hospital, has been working on Shakti’s prosthetic leg. He takes the measurements, checks the condition of her leg, and counsels Shakti on the process. He explains the importance of exercise prior to the fitting.
“I am really excited to get the prosthetic leg. I am doing my best to prepare my body for it, too, and the staff have all been very helpful,” she adds.
“I can’t wait to go back home walking on both of my feet and showing it to everyone.” — Shakti
People like you are vital to the mission so that together we can provide this high level of specialist and holistic care without cost to the patient, and in Jesus’ Name.
Will you join with us? When you Cure One today, another child like Shakti will have reason to smile again because of you!
Thank you for your Christian love and compassion. God bless you.