THILINA’S STORY: RESPONDING TO THE EASTER SUNDAY CRISIS

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Thilina is a 35-year-old single mother of two young children. The tragic bomb explosion at St. Sebastian’s Church, Katuwapitiya on Easter Sunday in 2019 has left Thilina paralysed with a spinal cord injury and has also robbed her of sight in her left eye. Her beautiful smile and pleasant demeanour do not betray the untold suffering that Thilina and her family live through daily. For well over a year, Thilina was hospitalised and underwent critical surgeries. She still requires continuous medical attention as loss of sensation will not alert her of any impending health crisis. Thilina, who worked in a cooperative bank and as a dancing instructor in order to sustain her young children and elderly parents, never thought that one fateful incident could change her life forever.

As part of its emergency response to the national crisis situation that arose in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks, LEADS reached out to persons who were directly affected by the explosions that took place in the Western and Eastern Provinces. LEADS partnered with Seth Sarana to provide for the emergency and post-disaster requirements that arose in affected communities in the Negombo area. Together with these organisations, LEADS reached out to Thilina to provide her with financial support towards her urgent medical requirements and towards reconstructing her home so that its facilities are more accessible to her.

Thilina is glad to be back home with her parents and children. The nurse that attends to her day and night administers to all her needs and helps Thilina exercise thrice a day while a physiotherapist visits her twice a week. Thilina spends her day reading, keeping in touch with her friends and watching television until her children return home from school. Her youngest daughter loves to climb on to her mother’s bed and chat with her and Thilina helps both her children with their school work to the best of her ability. “The physiotherapy treatments have been extremely helpful as I am slowly regaining movement in my limbs” explains Thilina. “The unbearable pain in my shoulders has disappeared and I am hopeful that things will slowly improve.” Thilina is grateful for the support she received at a very difficult time in her life. “The assistance I received was a great relief to me because my parents alone could not support me since they are aging” she says as she recalls the medical emergencies she has faced in the recent past. “The support I received greatly encouraged me and I cannot express the joy and confidence it gives me to face the future.”

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