The day that the accident occurred, I had gone out with four of my friends to look for scrap metal. I wanted the money that scrap metal could get me. My family was experiencing financial problems and I thought that I could solve them.
My friends and I were digging in an area about four kilometers from our village, when I shoveled a bombie from the ground. I scooped it up, and tapped it to get rid of the dirt. It exploded. Immediately I was lying on the ground of the forest, in unimaginable pain. All of my fingers had been broken, and there were fragments of the bombie throughout the rest of my body. When my friends found me lying on the ground drenched in blood, they quickly found a hand tractor to take me to Xepon District Hospital – but we were seven kilometers from the hospital, and at this time, the road was not good. It took us an hour to get there.
At Xepon District Hospital, I was treated well by the doctor and nurses there, but they could not provide me with the treatment I required. After two hours of treatment, the doctor referred me to Savannahket Provincial Hospital, where I spent the next fifteen days. In Savannahkhet, they amputated my right hand and two of my left fingers, which were irreparably fractured. They tried to save my right eye, but they couldn’t. I lost that too.
The accident caused me much heartache. I lost my hand, two of my fingers, and my eye. I had difficulty moving around, which stopped me being able to contribute as much as I once had to my family’s livelihood. The accident cost 21 million kip – which at the time was equivalent to about 2,500 US dollars. World Education contributed 7 million kip to my medical expenses, and the Laos Red Cross contributed 280,000, and my relatives had to cover the rest.
In the time following my accident, I was immensely depressed. I considered suicide. But my family cared for me greatly during this time, and it was from them that I gained the willpower to move forward from that point. Now, I would dearly like to find employment so that I can contribute to my family’s livelihood and to society.
I think that I have to encourage other disable people by showing that I am a person with disabilities too, and now I am a Ban Advocate! So don’t give up, be strong.
“I am very proud that I still can help my family with some activities, like taking water, cooking rice and other daily work in the family. I am very happy that I can play Raton ball with my neighbor. I was a spokesperson in the Handicap International Risk Education film. I’m really proud of that.”