Friday Dec 1, 2023
Friday Dec 1, 2023

17-year-old quake survivor lamenting her little sister's death from hospital bed

2023 Nov 08, 15:35,

(Rupani GM/RSS)

17-year-old quake survivor lamenting her little sister's death in a hospital bed(Rupani GM/RSS)

Janaki (Banke), Nov 8: "Sister, save me! Save me!" These haunting words continue to echo in the mind of Juni Bista from Bheri Municipality-1 in Jajarkot district, Nepal.

"I was helpless as I got trapped under the debris of our house after the earthquake struck. I was struggling to breathe,

immobile, and unable to speak. I could do nothing to assist my younger sister who desperately cried for help," these are the words of Juni who has been recuperating from earthquake injuries at the Nepalgunj-based Bheri Hospital since last Saturday.

Juni blames herself for her sister's loss, burdened by the guilt of not being able to save her.

As per medical observation, Juni has suffered severe injuries to her left hand and this has affected her nerves. After four days of medical care, she has slowly regained some mobility in her legs, although she still cannot move independently. However, the physical discomfort and pain pale in comparison to the emotional distress she experiences when she recalls the harrowing moments of the earthquake and the realization that her beloved sister is no longer with her.

She breaks down in tears when she thinks about her 'inability' to save her little sister. She is struggling to cope with the overwhelming grief and guilt.

"Since her admission to the hospital on Saturday, Juni has been unwilling to talk even to her visitors. She lies on the bed hiding her face with a shawl. She is emotionally distressed," said hospital psychosocial counselor Kamala Dangi.

Dangi has already talked to Juni in three rounds and found that the trauma runs deep. "Juni believes that the earthquake just occurred, devouring her beloved sister," Dangi said.

"On the third day of our conversation, she opened up with teary eyes about the pain in her heart. She felt sorry for losing her younger sister who grew up with her more than the pain she suffered," said Dangi.

On that fateful night, Juni went to bed alongside her sister after having dinner. That night, they conversed about going to the local fair the following day (Saturday), and the younger sister would wear the kurta suruwal of Juni for the day. However, her wishes could not be fulfilled, she burst into tears.

"Generally, Juni would talk to no one. She would not respond upon being called. But she would burst into tears remembering her deceased sister," said Dangi, adding, "Her injuries are gradually healing with medicines. But she needs serious care as she is battling psychosocial problems." After four days of psychosocial counseling, she talked to Dangi. Her father was in a foreign country for a job, and her mother and brother sustained normal injuries, she said to Dangi. She passed got enrolled in the PCL nursing program.

It is taking time for her to recover as she has avoided food, water, and medicines due to the demise of her sister, said Dangi. "Counseling and talk therapy are the best options for her to get rid of the pain in her heart and brain."

Currently, 49 victims are receiving treatment at Bheri Hospital, said Chief District Officer, Banke, Shrawan Kumar Pokharel. "Of the total 53 victims admitted to the hospital, 49 are receiving treatment, and three have been discharged. The remaining victims are out of danger. They are recuperating," he said.



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