Nepal earthquake: Groom-to-be returns to Mumbai to treat broken arms

Rajdev Saha (25) was in Nepal to finalise his marriage plans when the first quake struck in April; he was stuck under debris for 72 hours and then spent a month in the open, getting treated

After spending 72 hours under the debris, a month on the lawns of a Nepalese hospital and making rounds for three days to be admitted in Mumbai, 25-year-old Rajdev Saha, a victim of the tragic Nepal earthquake, was finally admitted to KEM Hospital on May 27.

Though there were no external injuries on both his hands, Rajdev was unable to move them
Though there were no external injuries on both his hands, Rajdev was unable to move them

Originally from Gaur, Nepal, Rajdev, who works in Mumbai, had gone to his native place after two years, when the earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, shook the country on April 25. Rajdev, who was alone in the building, was stuck inside for over 72 hours before being rescued by Nepalese rescue forces.

While he was admitted to a local hospital in Nepal for over a month, the family finally moved him to KEM Hospital to seek treatment. Both his hands were dislocated at the shoulders, preventing him from moving them. Rajdev has been working as a labourer in a handbag-making company at Saat Rasta since the past two years.

He lives in Vapi with his cousin, Ramdayal Saha (45). The April visit was his first to his native place, Gaur, after two years and discussion about his marriage was one of the main reasons for it.

Plans
“I wanted to meet my parents because it had been two years since I had met them. They were also talking about my marriage, so I thought I would spend time in the village and finalise that issue as well. Little did I know what lay ahead,” said Rajdev.

On April 25, Rajdev was sitting alone at his friend’s place while his three friends had gone out for some work. He said he felt a few slight tremors at first and, within moments, everything went upside down. “I could barely figure out what was happening. Then a slab fell in front of me, making it impossible to run out and the building collapsed.

Somehow, due to the ceiling, I was stuck in the middle of a cavity in pitch darkness,” said Rajdev. His friends rushed to the building, since they knew he was there. But when they witnessed the state of the structure, they didn’t hope to collect more than his remains from the debris.

However, fate had other plans in mind for the youngster. Bleeding due to the injury, he was stuck inside the cavity for over 72 hours before he was pulled out by rescue workers. “He had minor injuries to the back of his head, lower back and legs.

Somehow, though, there was no external injury on both his hands, he was unable to move them,” said Ramdayal. It was later discovered that his shoulder joints had been dislocated. Rajdev was then moved to a local hospital, where patients were being treated in the lawns due to fear of aftershocks.

“People were so scared that they preferred to be treated in a lawn where the hospital had set up cots. However, since there were no MRI or X-ray facilities available, after a month, when I was able to walk, they asked us to take treatment at a better medical facility for my hands,” said Rajdev.

Back to Mumbai
Since he was working in Mumbai and was aware of the medical facilities available in the city, the family decided to move him to KEM Hospital for further treatment. However, the family alleged that they had been making rounds of the hospital for three days and couldn’t get admission due to some issue.

“We kept roaming from one desk to the other for three days. Even today (Wednesday), we wouldn’t have got admission had a social worker not intervened and written a letter to the doctors, advising them to admit the patient.

Finally the doctors agreed to admit him,” said Ramdayal. At 5 pm on May 27, Rajdev was admitted to the orthopaedic department of the hospital.

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