Khadiza Akhter Nargis, the student that had been attacked by a Chhatra League leader on October 3 last year, was released from the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in Savar after having regained her health on Thursday.
Khadiza had been undergoing a programme of rehabilitation at CRP since November 28, when she was transferred there from Square Hospital after treatment of her injuries.
She was released after a press briefing at CRP’s Redway Hall around 11am.
Asked about CRP’s role in Khadiza’s remarkable recovery, a CRP physician played it down saying they were simply doing their job: “Despite the extra pressure on Khadiza’s case, doctors at CRP were determined to return Khadiza to regular life as they are with any other patient here.”
In an exclusive interview, Khadiza’s physiotherapist and CRP Neurology Department In-charge Farzana Sharmin Rumana said: “Khadiza is now fully recovered. She can perform all basic functions for daily activities by herself and is all set to return home to Sylhet.
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“When Khadiza was first brought in to CRP, the left side of her body was almost entirely paralysed; she couldn’t get around without a wheelchair. Moreover, she was in very bad shape in terms of her psychological health. But because of our committed care and therapy she is now fully recovered. She can eat, bathe, and do other daily functions by herself without having to rely on anyone.”
Khadiza received regular counselling from a psychologist throughout her stay at CRP. Regarding Khadiza’s mental health, Farzana said: “Although we were confident from the beginning that we could restore her physical health, we were all quite worried about her mental health. She used to constantly cry for her family, especially her parents, so we arranged for a brief visit to Sylhet a few days ago. The doctors here frequently held board meetings to discuss Khadiza’s health and that’s why today she can go back to her normal life.”
On whether Khadiza will require further treatment after returning home, Farzana said: “Khadiza is now as healthy as anyone out there, but if she needs any medical attention we can communicate with her over video call.”
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Without the help of medical professionals at CRP, Khadiza may have been unable to return to daily life despite her medical stats being in the normal range Dhaka Tribune
CRP’s Clinical Physiotherapist Sulakhana Shama Biswas, who was constantly by Khadiza’s side providing care, described her physiotherapy regimen: “Initially we put emphasis on various physical exercises, especially regular joint mobilisation for her shoulder and back. Simultaneously, we did the ‘rough surface’ and ‘unstable surface’ exercise to correct her arm imbalance. On top of that we did many other exercises to help her climb the stairs, get on a rickshaw, and eat by herself. Still, Khadiza’s rapid recovery was largely due to her mental resilience and everyone’s prayers.”
Asked about Khadiza’s memory of the traumatic incident, Sulakshana said: “I never asked her about such personal things, but she did tell me one time that if she were to ever come across Badrul [the attacker] again, she would be brave enough to face him.”
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Earlier, when Khadiza was first admitted to CRP, CRP Head of Medical Services and Consultant Neurosurgeon Dr Syed Uddin Helal had said that although Khadiza was in stable condition and her medical stats were within the normal range, her physical movements were significantly compromised due to the severity of the head injury.
“When it comes to head injury, there is no telling how long it could take for a person to recover,” he had said, while also requesting that the news media not tell Khadiza about this.
Khadiza Akter Nargis was viciously attacked on October 3 last year by Chhatra League leader Badrul Alam.
Khadiza, a second year student at Sylhet Government Women’s College, was returning home when she was attacked and stabbed repeatedly by Badrul. She suffered major head injuries besides the multiple stab wounds.
Rushed immediately to Sylhet Osmani Medical Hospital, Khadiza was later transferred to Square Hospital in Dhaka where she was put on life support for 92 hours.
Within two months of treatment at Square Hospital, Khadiza was transferred to the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in Savar for physiotherapy, where she was under the care of Dr Helal.