Medical check on Vania

by Judith Kühl/RBU, 2011/02/21

Two weeks ago, Dr Irmgard Harms reported from Brazil and told about Vania. The young woman has been left destitute due to the landslides and for a long time she did not know what had become of her husband. What is most tragic, however, is the death of her son who was buried by the mudslides. Coordinator Judith Kühl tells us how Vania is doing now.

Coordinator Judith Kühl and the young woman Vania who has learned to smile once more despite her hard fate. Photo: humedica

"Vania complains about headaches and fits of dizziness. Our doctor asks her for possible reasons. The 25-year old woman shakes her head again and again. In the meantime, Dr Irmgard Harms, who has been working for humedica in Brazil for almost six weeks, knows the young woman well. She has been checking on her regularly for three weeks.

Vania lost her son during the devastating landslides in January, and she herself and her husband sustained severe injuries during the mudslides. She needed continuous treatment by the humedica team in particular due to an infected wound to her leg. Today, her leg is no longer focus of treatment. All the scratches, sores and wounds to Vania's body have healed completely. But still, she does not look healthy.

She screws up her eyes. She walks unsteadily. When I talk to her, she smiles, but her eyes are looking through me. She complains about ever-increasing headaches and fits of dizziness. Our doctor asks her many questions in order to find out the reasons for this. Vania only shakes her head or shrugs.

Then a very simple question: does Vania need spectacles? She nods. Dr Harms keeps asking. Eventually, the young woman almost shyly admits that she has lost her spectacles in the mud that has swept away her house within only one or two minutes.

Together with Vania, we drive to an optician in order to have her eyesight tested. She suffers from severely restricted eyesight and urgently needs special spectacles. But at the moment she cannot afford to buy some. Besides the tragic loss of their son, Vania and her husband have lost all their property. In these circumstances the loss of spectacles seems insubstantial.

This may be true at a first glance, but for Vania's health and quality of life it means a substantial impairment. After we ordered fitting spectacles for Vania at the optician, the young woman only seems to know one more word: "Obrigada!" - "Thank you!" After more than six weeks, she will finally be able to see properly once more.

Vania and the humedica team members at the optician. Photo: humedica

Thank you very much for enabling us to help numerous people here in Brazil by means of your donations. Among these people was also Vania, for whom your support was a substantial and very special help.

With kind regards from Nova Friburgo,
Yours Judith Kühl"

Dear friends and sponsors of humedica, please continue supporting us in our efforts to give new hope to the people in Brazil both by means of special individual aid and reconstruction measures. Thanks to the German Federal Foreign Office and the donations they have made so far, we could already achieve a lot. Please continue supporting our work.

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference "Landslide Brazil"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can also make a great contribution by means of donating online or by sending a text message: Simply send DOC to +49 8 11 90. You will be charged 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica project work.

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