Tuesday, March 4, 2008

An update : Samitha Samanmali

Samitha is now in a ward at the accident service of the NHSL. She lies on the bed, her lower body motionless, and gazes out of the window. Blue skies with fluffy clouds. Mara trees bedecked with red and yellow flowers. Crows wheeling across her field of vision.

Friends hover around her, trying to anticipate and meet every need. Major trauma, major surgery and major change of life... in the face of these, Samitha remains cheerful. Tutes are brought to her bedside and she courageously turns pages and refers notes, determined not to fall behind.

What now? The next step is a wheelchair. At present, Samitha can only be "propped up" i.e. kept semi recumbent with the aid of pillows. The injury is at the 5th thoracic spinal level, which means she has poor control over the muscles of her trunk (these are antigravity muscles that help us keep upright). Obviously, a generic wheelchair, purchased from Union Chemists for instance, will be useless. She needs a special, custom-made wheelchair that will help support her comfortably. An electric wheelchair will be ideal as she will then have a degree of independence. Overseas rehabilitation is needed next. There are a couple of wonderful units in Singapore and the UK that offer facilities far far beyond what is available in SL.

Many thanks to all who contributed and continue to contribute to her rehabilitation fund. As yet, only a fraction of the funds needed have been raised, but I feel fairly confident that we may be able to collect the required sum. Things are yet to be streamlined. Arrangements are being made to get her cause registered as a charity. Not only will that give an added incentive for the corporate sector to donate (tax relief!) it will also allow the funds to be handled in the best possible way.

Many friends and well wishers from abroad have contacted us. They're not financial giants... many are students who work part time to pay for their own university education. yet they all want to donate something and this is where we hit a snag. What's the best way. Wire transfer is horribly expensive and not practical for small sums. Cheques run the risk of processing problems when issued by a bank overseas. Someone suggested a demand draft from the bank, but I wonder if this requires a minimum sum. Another friend suggested a paypal account.

Dinesh has kindly offered to develop a website for her cause. Untill he mentioned it, I hadn't realised that there was no official information available online. Maybe the paypal account can be linked to this website. Does anyone know how that works?

Once more, thanks to all for your good wishes and contributions. Will continue with the updates.

1 comment:

Azrael said...

Paypal doesn't support Sri Lanka for receiving payments. Well it didn't use to, and i don't think it has changed so far.

There is no agreement between paypal and local banks on transferring funds.

Can use paypal if you have an overseas account in any of the countries supported by them.

Only option here is to go through one of the local banks for a payment gateway, but that's a real headache.

You can always talk to banks and see. They sometimes they offer free or low cost payment gateway solutions for charity. Better if you know some bigwig in the bank ;)


Good luck and best wishes for Samitha