Sima, a 15-year-old young girl, who is struggling with the deformities of leprosy. Her story shows us how leprosy as a disease can steal the childhood of children.

“Sima’s father is a hardworking labourer, but poverty shackles their dreams. They survive as daily wage earners, struggling to make ends meet.

Sima’s story is one of strength, resilience, and an unwavering spirit that shines despite the challenges she faces. Sima, at the tender age of 15, resides in a small village Pratapganj, District – Supaul, in Bihar.

She lives with her father and three elder brothers. Her mother passed away few years back and since then she being the youngest member of her family, has been determined to be a support for her father not knowing of the fact what the future holds for her.

Her life, filled with dreams and aspirations, has been touched by a condition that threatens to dim her light.

Sima Kumari was just 10-years old when she got multiple anesthetic patches all over her body. Her body was covered in multiple lesions and she was forced to abandon her education because of leprosy.

When Sima discovered the first patch of numbness on her skin, her family tried to get her help, but as her family lives in a very rural part of India, they only had access to the village doctors, who didn’t recognize the symptoms. As time went by, the patches increased in size and number and she developed left foot drop with severe ulcers on it. At that time, her community shunned Sima leaving her disheartened by the turmoil she was going through.

Eventually, Sima’s Father took her to visit a hospital where she was correctly diagnosed with leprosy and was advised to start the multi-drug therapy before her hands clawed and her feet dropped.

However, when Sima took an adverse reaction to the drugs she was referred to the TLM Hospital Muzaffarpur for specialized treatment and Reconstructive Surgery of foot drop and clawing fingers. Thanks to this compassionate intervention, Sima is now admitted in the hospital and is undergoing her Pre- Operative Physiotherapy.

Dr. Pankaj, the Superintendent, at the Leprosy Mission Hospital Muzaffarpur said, “Clawing of hands and foot drop is a late symptom of leprosy and occurs when damage to the nerves has happened. Foot drop is a common and distressing problem that can lead to falls and injury. Reconstructive surgery is the only recourse left. If surgery does not happen on time, it leads to disability”.

Sima, now 15, says, “I have faced several problems in my young life already. All my dreams are shattered. Now, I want to study further and live a good life.”

Nevertheless, there is hope! Our dedicated doctors and counsellors, refusing to accept defeat, have admitted her to our hospital for the crucial care she needs and will receive the comprehensive treatment she deserves.

Through your kindness and compassion, you are making more of a difference than you could possibly imagine.

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