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Subi stopped talking

Subi 2400X745
Subi (7) from India was a major chatterbox. ‘She joked with the neighbor and sang songs with the owner of the vegetable stall on the corner of the street. She always knew exactly what was happening in the neighborhood. My daughter was anything but shy.’

From this moment it became silent’

Until one day she heard she had leprosy. The spots in her face would not just go away anymore. From now on, it became silent. My most beloved daughter become a totally different, silent girl. Scared of being different from the other children.

It started 3 years ago. My daughter Subi got stains in her face. I did not know what it was. And in my area, nobody recognized these symptoms. After about a year, an uncle came by me. He told us that it could be leprosy. I was shocked and I went to a hospital with Subi. There the suspicion of my uncle was confirmed.

We were too late’

Of the doctors in the hospital, Subi received a healing medicine treatment of one year. But despite the medicines, her hands began to crook a little bit. We were too late. And the spots have remained.

Subi is now 7 years old. She goes to a self-​help group that was founded by the Netherlands Hanseniasis Relief. There she gets physical therapy to make her hands move better. But in her left hand she has no more feeling. It is therefore very important that she is careful and does not get any wounds on her hand.

She became introverted’

Once she knew she had leprosy, Subi changed enormously. She became introverted and stopped talking. She finds it terrible that she is different from the other children.

She is just going to school and I have the idea she is not bullied at school. But to see her like this breaks my heart. I hope that her spots will disappear eventually.

Subi playing cricket after treatment IndiaSubi and family after treatment India

Photography: Sasja van Vechgel

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