Srinagar, February 04: For Shameema Bano of Bijbehara area of Islamabad district both her spine and life were shattered by a bullet fired by the troops of Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) during the 2016 uprising.
Seven months after the tragedy, she says, “There are no messiahs around to help me in my arduous journey of treatment, expect the doctors who are no less than angels to me.”
Admitted to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital on July 9 last year – the day massive protests broke out across occupied Kashmir following the martyrdom of Hizb Commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani – the teenager is paralyzed. In the past seven months, she hasn’t been struggling with the injury alone, but poverty too.After months of treatment, she says she is able to “only feel pain” in her legs. “I can now sit in my wheelchair with some supportive belts,” she says.
The “little progress” she has made has increased both her optimism and hope. “If I improved this much, I will improve more,” she says with a smile.
The bullet that hit her in Arwani village in Bijbehara tore through her intestines and made her lose mobility and senses waist-below, according to doctors treating her. She underwent many rounds of surgeries, mostly in her spine. Her parents, Rafeeqa Begum and Abdur Rasheed, try to persuade their daughter to “be brave”. “We have been in this hospital for months,” Rafeeqa says.
Abdur Rasheed is a blacksmith, who is unable to afford the high cost of Shameema’s treatment.
Commenting on the chances of her recovery, the doctors said that because the bullet had damaged her liver and other organs, she had to be supported by a ventilator for the initial phase of her stay at the SMHS hospital. “We started working on her spine later when her condition stabilized,” they said.
Doctors fear that she would never be able to use her legs. “We are trying our best that she is at least able to use a wheelchair,” they said.