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Dhaka Tribune

Can she ever walk again?

Update : 07 May 2013, 04:37 AM

Can she ever walk again? For 25-year-old Saima, this is the single most important question in her life, or what remains of it, after the walls of Rana Plaza came tumbling down on that fateful Wednesday and destroyed everything she knew.

Doctors say there is little chance of her getting cured permanently. But like a seaman who was cast adrift in the middle of a vast sea and yet hopes to survive, she dreams of being on her feet again and walk.

“I want to walk again. I want to lead a normal life like other people of my age”, said Saima, lying on a hospital bed at the Rana Plaza Tragedy Ward at Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), Savar.

The mother-of-two became fully paralysed after four vertebras down the centre of her back was fractured beyond healing.

She condition is the “most critical” among the 38 victims currently admitted to CRP. The facility has two wards and one cabin especially arranged for the treatment of the Savar tragedy victims.

The man in charge of the 19-bed ward where Saima is staying, said she had “less than 1 percent” chance of becoming normal again. “Despite that, she will be operated on soon enough,” he said.

Saima was working on the seventh floor of Rana Plaza when the building started caving in. She said, “When they switched on the generator, I heard a loud noise and the floor down my feet shook heavily.”

“People became frightened and started running for the staircases. I too ran myself and when I reached the sixth floor, the building started collapsing. I got hit by a pillar and lost senses.

“When I gained consciousness, I realised some people were trying to pull me up. There was serious pain in my back, which, I noticed, was trapped under a heavy pillar. I lost my senses again.”

She regained her senses in the Enam Medical Hospital. Her mother, Rahela, was there with her. On April 26, doctors from CRP visited her at the Enam Hospital and suggested that she be shifted to their facility.

Rahela said, “Doctors examined her condition and told us that Saima would not be able to walk anymore since her spine has been totally broken. They, however, assured us that they would do an operation nonetheless, however slim chances maybe.”

Saima hailed from Naogaon to live with her toy-seller husband in Majidpur, Savar. But she doesn’t want to live in this city anymore.

“I don’t know if I will ever be normal again. But chances are very thin that I will. If I cannot work, I don’t want to stay in this city either. But where shall I go, and to whom, if I have to leave here?” As she said that, her eyes were filled with tears.  

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