When Suklal, a builder in India, first noticed patches on his arms and hands, and his fingers beginning to seize up, he thought it was due to the colder weather — as he worked outside a lot.
It was only when a volunteer leprosy field worker linked to the Leprosy Mission Kothara Hospital noticed the patches that he was referred to the hospital. Suklal was diagnosed with leprosy.
“When I found out I had leprosy, I was very sad. My wife was crying for me when I told her,” Suklal said.
But after just three months of starting Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT), Suklal developed leprosy reaction in his hands and feet and his right hand had become fully clawed. His condition was so severe that he was admitted to the hospital for three months.
Ulcers had developed on his fingers and they were not healing. Although Suklal had been undertaking self-care, he had been diagnosed too late. Unfortunately the ends of his fingers on his right hand had to be amputated.
After rehabilitation, he returned to his village. But he began to feel depressed. Suklal’s soon-tobe daughter-in-law was anxious about what her parents would think if they knew. And it became apparent he couldn’t be a builder anymore, he didn’t know what to do.
“After the surgery I could not do labouring work anymore and I [was] being idle which I hated… …my sons and my wife had to work more to support our family…,” Suklal reveals.
When the same Leprosy Mission volunteer health worker, Sushil, met him again and saw that Suklal was depressed, he connected him to a Leprosy Mission project to start his own business. Suklal had lost his confidence, but the Leprosy Mission volunteer staff member believed in him and encouraged him to try anyway.
Thanks to the prayer and financial support of people like you, he received a small business grant and started a local shop in his village.
He was then able to invest in a fridge freezer. Having cold drinks and ice cream available in the hotter months has been an important part of building up his profit margins and his self-esteem.
“Now people give me honour for the success of my business…,” Suklal is pleased to report. His business is thriving! Suklal now makes enough for him and his family to live comfortably.
Thank you for all you’ve done!!