KIT Blog

The heartbreak of losing your leg. What would you do in Mr Singaravel’s place?

by Andrew Newmarch

International Programs Manager The Leprosy Mission Australia

We’re often encouraged to take the advice of medical and professional personnel. The facts before us all add up to making a decision that is consistent with that advice. In the case of leprosy, stigma and discrimination makes life as hard to bear as having leprosy itself. Getting any assistance at all is welcome. However, sometimes taking that advice can be really hard.

In the village of Vadakkupalayam, near Cuddalore in India, I met members of a self- care group. This group gathered to learn how to treat their ulcers and support each other. One gentleman, Mr Singaravel, had a bad ulcer on his right foot which meant he needed crutches to get around. The ulcer kept getting damaged; indeed, it was not really getting better. The medical and professional advice: the lower leg should be amputated. Mr Singaravel could then get a prosthesis that will make walking so much easier.

Have you ever had to make a decision to lose part of your body? Did you have a choice or was it a life or death situation eg cancer? For Mr Singaravel this was not a life or death decision but more of a difficult life versus a better life. Perhaps for us we might work through the logic and decide for an amputation.

We might pray about this and seek spiritual guidance. For Mr Singaravel his body helps to define him and to amputate is losing definition. He has made several attempts to say yes and has got as far as the surgery room but still resists The Inclusive Empowerment project you support, makes prosthetics so there is no problem in getting a new leg. The project you support also teaches people how to manage their disability and take care of themselves.

Pray for people like Mr Singaravel as he considers his options and weighs up what it would mean to have an amputation.

Your kindness and compassion in continually praying for those affected by leprosy and disability continues to transform lives.

If you would like to give loving care to someone, you can donate using the form enclosed and return in the envelope provided, FREECALL 1800 537 767 or go to: