Saving lives and putting lives back on track


“Our sophisticated medical facilities came as a great blessing to the locals,” says Brahmachari Abhayamrita Chaitanya, one of Amma’s disciples sent to the area of devastation. “On day one itself, our doctors took care of nearly 600 cases. The doctors provided expert orthopedic care for bone fractures and displacements, treated deep wounds and head injuries and performed life-saving operations, all in rough-and-ready conditions. Surgical procedures were performed round-the-clock with the intention of saving as many lives as possible.

In separate incidents, the medical team was able to save 40 lives from a collapsed school, and eight babies were delivered right inside the ambulance, in the disaster zone. ‘’As the local hospital was totally devastated and a few nurses had died, our doctors had to assist in a few delivery cases”, says Br. Abhayamrita. On the second day, a man who had lost every family member to the disaster came to MAM’s Relief Post worried that the bodies of his loved ones might be mutilated, as the authorities were using excavators to clear the debris to dig out human remains. The MAM student volunteers quickly sprang into action and began to clear the debris using their bare hands and crowbars and finally recovered the bodies of all six of his family members, undamaged ‘’ The heart-broken man was lamenting his loss but at last he expressed his gratitude to us for recovering the bodies unmutilated. It was a really emotional incident and later the bodies were moved to a crematorium nearby.’’ Br. Abhayamrita continued.

In total, the team had visited 25 villages and provided food, water clothes and medical care to the affected. After two days, the efforts were focused on five villages namely Kokera, Dagara, Mokhana, Modsar and Jawar Nagar. “In each of the villages we visited, we had to literally search and find the injured people,” says Br. Ashok, a neurosurgeon from AIMS. “Those with serious fractures often had inadequate splints and sometimes casting had been done without X-rays. So, the fractures had to be checked and reset. Even two weeks after the quake, we could still find children with long bone fractures that needed setting.  Often, the villagers didn’t realize the seriousness of their condition, therefore we had to step in and explain that their children would be crippled if they were not taken care of properly.”

At Jawar Nagar, the medical team came across three women with severe injuries including forearm, femur and pelvic fractures. All of them were lying in a hut, practically abandoned and in deep pain. The MAM team took all of them to the base camp and took their X-rays. Geeta, a 20 –year old girl with a serious pelvic fracture was taken to Mumbai where she underwent surgery and is presently doing well. Devotees in Mumbai visited her in the hospital and made her feel at home.

During these days, the medical team survived largely on biscuits and water, their only real meal at night. ‘’ We drew satisfaction from seeing the smiling faces of those we were able to rescue and treat.’’, says Abhayamrita. “And of course, the greatest encouragement was Amma who used to call us every night.’’, he concludes.



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