October 2, 2011

Geeta has been discharged from the UNC hospitals for about three weeks now. She is living at a family friend's house in High Point, NC. (Thank you Dil, Uttara, Priyanka, and Dipti Chhetri for accommodating Geeta and her daughter Pragati and helping them far and beyond.) Geeta is seeing local physical and occupational therapists for her much needed rehabilitation process. In terms of mobility, movement in her lower limbs is limited to wiggling of her right toe. Her upper limbs also have limited mobility. Although there has been progress in the overall functioning of her body parts, it is very minimal at the moment. The application for extension of Geeta's immigration status has been submitted; the response for which is still pending. 

Pratik is in Michigan for his graduate school, and is traveling to NC every 3-4 weeks. He is undergoing physical therapy treatment at a local clinic, which has helped him significantly in terms of ribs- and sternum-mobility. 

Pragati is taking care of Geeta in NC. Geeta needs someone to be with her 24/7 and Pragati is currently fulfilling her day-to-day needs. 

Expenses: As of today, $9990.18 is remaining from the total donated amount of $21747.91.

Other than basic needs, the expenses include legal fees to tackle Geeta's immigration issues, customized ramp at the NC house for Geeta's movement from/to the house, medications, and other medical supplies (now that Geeta is out of the hospital, a lot of such expenses pile up pretty quickly).

Lots of questions remain unanswered at this point, only the future will tell what's next for Geeta and the Chhetri family.

August 12, 2011

Two steps forward, one step back!

Geeta has been relatively stronger in the past few weeks. However, her progress has been impeded because she developed hydrothorax (fluid collection in her lungs) last week. After draining about 1200 mLs off her left lung last Saturday, doctors had expected she would not develop any more fluids. However, yesterday, the x-ray reports of her lungs showed that more fluid had collected. The cause of this problem has yet to be diagnosed.

On the positive side, her therapies are going good, and it looks like she will be discharged from this rehab on Sept 2. The duration of her hospital stay was further lengthened due to the fact that her limbs have been getting stronger, especially her arms. Although she has not been able to walk yet, last week she wiggled her right toe, a MAJOR improvement in terms of movement in her lower extremities.

Pratik is leaving for Michigan on Aug 16th to start his graduate school classes. He will start physical therapy in Michigan.

Pragati has been learning how to transfer Geeta from wheelchair to bed and vice-versa. She has been getting lots of training from the nurses and therapists- after all, she is the one who will be Geeta’s therapist, nurse, daughter and everything else after Geeta’s release from the hospital.

Expenses: As of 08/12/11, a total of $9,629.19 has been spent on various things.

Ambulance cost for Geeta’s transfer (from VA to NC): $3239.69

Pragati’s travel expenses (from Nepal to the US): $2500

Immigration lawyer’s fees + other expenses (for extension of Geeta’s immigration status): $2139

Other expenses (including accommodation, food, other supplies): $1750.50

Out of $21641.70 raised, $12012.51 is remaining now. 

July 29,2011

Yupp! It has been a while since the last time the website was updated. Over the past three weeks, things have been going good.

Geeta has been dong well - she has been pushing her body very hard on the therapies. Her right arm has been much stronger- left not as much, but it is getting there. Although she does not have any movement (except for the sudden, periodic involuntary movements) in her legs yet, her therapists are trying a new machine on her soon, which is expected to help her a lot. Hopefully the day that she will be able to walk on her own arrives soon. Her voice has gotten much better as well, and she has been eating quite well. In fact, her trach tube (that was surgically inserted via a small incision on her throat) just came off today. However, she still needs assistance of people to change positions in bed, to transfer from bed to wheel chair and vice-versa, and in many other day-to-day activities. Her discharge date from the hospital is set to be Aug 15th, after which she will be taken to close family friends' place in High Point, NC.

Pratik has been off the back-brace for more than a week now. He still feels uncomfortable but he is getting used to not wearing the brace. His follow-up appointment is on Aug 2 with a neurosurgeon at the UNC hospital. He will go back to MI to start graduate school on Aug 16th.

Pragati is getting used to American culture and settings as she takes care of Geeta and Pratik. Specially, her nursing skills have come quite handy, and will be critical once Geeta is out of the hospital.

Donations: So far, the donations from this website have totaled $18,518.7. $3,023 have been collected via other means. The total money raised so far is $21541.7.
Roughly $2,500 was spent on Pragati's immigration expenses, $3239.69 was spent on ambulance service while transferring Geeta from Mary Washington Hospital (VA) to UNC Hospital (NC). More than $1000 have been spent on other related expenses (food, accommodations, other supplies, etc... exact totaling is yet to be done). A separate account has been opened to keep track of the donated money.

Again, all your continued prayers and wishes are greatly appreciated!

July 8, 2011

It has been almost two weeks since Geeta was transferred to the rehab facility and things are getting better. Of course, 'better' is a relative term.

Geeta has been on regular diet, with some episodes of vomiting and uncontrolled bowel movement. She can speak quite well with the valve on her tracheostomy tube (through which she was breathing earlier; although she can breathe on her own now, she cannot cough out secretions on her own, therefore, her respiratory tract still needs to be cleaned using the trach-tube) on her throat. Her pneumonia and urinary tract infection (UTI) are being treated with stronger antibiotics. Hopefully, she will be out of the trach-tube soon. She has been on regular 3-4 hours of therapy every day- her right hand is getting stronger, left, not as much, and her lower extremities are yet to get any mobility back. (She has been getting quite a lot of twitching and spasms on her legs, which according to the therapists, is sometimes good, however, often does not mean anything.) She will be out of this rehab facility in about a month now.

Pratik had an appointment with a neurosurgeon recently. The doctor said that he would not recommend a surgery for Pratik, because it has been quite a while since the accident happened and he has not had any major difficulty in the normal functioning of his body parts. However, the doctor is yet to receive the medical reports and documents of Pratik from the other hospital (which should be on the way to the doctor's office now). Pratik will hopefully be out of his brace in a couple of weeks. His imbalance in the posture (back) will hopefully be better, if not fixed, with physical therapy in the near future. He has a follow-up appointment in about a month.

Pragati has been quite a lot of help for Geeta and Pratik. She has been in the hospital ever since Geeta arrived to this facility. She has been learning the American culture and food, and has been a huge relief to both Geeta and Pratik, both physically and emotionally.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers!

June 29, 2011

Geeta's condition: Geeta was transferred to UNC Rehab on Monday. She has done a lot better since, and hopefully, in the next couple of months she will recover fully. The staff at the rehab facility have estimated that Geeta might be at the facility for at least another 4-6 weeks. She passed the swallow test, and was able to eat some crackers, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. She can speak with a valve on, and hopefully she will be off of the tracheostomy tube soon.

Mobility on her arms is improving; as for her legs, she still has sensation but has not been able to move them yet. The therapists are wonderful and encourage Geeta to continue trying. She goes through 3-4 hours of daily therapy which includes physical, occupational, respiratory, recreational and speech.

Pratik's condition: He was able to get an appointment with a UNC neurosurgeon, and will soon find out if he will require surgery.

The new address: As per the request of many friends and well-wishers, below is the new address.

    Geeta Chhetri
    101 Manning Drive
    NC Memorial Hospital, Room # 7301
    Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Anyone who wishes to send letters, cards, etc. to the Chhetri family is welcome to do so.

Pratik and Pragati have been staying at Derek, Naman and Pavak's house. Their help is greatly appreciated. Special thanks to Dil Chhetri, Uttara Basnet, Priyanka Chhetri and Dipti Chhetri who visited Geeta, Pratik and Pragati at the hospital yesterday. Special thanks to Paul, Derek, Ben, Divya and Eric for hosting a party to cheer Pratik up. 

Donations: So far, the donations from this website have totaled $18,177.55. $2423 have been collected via other means. The total money raised so far is $20.600.55.

Thank for the kindness and support to the Chhetri family. YOU ARE ALL WONDERFUL!!

June 25, 2011

Pratik's sister, Pragati, is arriving at the Raleigh-Durham airport (NC) today at 2:45pm. Originally, Geeta was supposed to be transferred earlier this week, that is why Pragati bought the tickets to RDA, thinking Geeta and Pratik would already be there.

Meanwhile, Pratik's friends in the NC have generously volunteered to pick-up Pragati from the airport as well as house her until Pratik and Geeta arrive at the UNC rehab. They have also arranged a place for Pratik and Pragati to stay while Geeta will be at the facility. Special thanks to Manisha, Nidhi, Eric, Naman, Pavak, Derek, Quang, Laura, Ben, Richard, Paul and others for helping out the Chhetri family at this time.

Geeta likes to talk: Yesterday, the trauma doctors changed her tracheostomy tube from a size 8 to a size 6 so that Geeta will be able to talk better, with the aid of Passi-Muir valve. Usually, Geeta could not hold the valve for more than 5-7 minutes, however, yesterday, with a different sized tube and improving conditions, she held the valve for more than an hour, she asked about many people and things.

Thanking a compassionate Congressman: Rep. Dave Camp (MI-4) who Pratik had earlier contacted regarding his sister's visa, personally called Pratik to find out about his sister's visa status. Lots of gratitude for Rep. Camp's concern, and support!

Prayers and wishes are amazing! The Chhetri family is blessed to have so many people helping and praying for them. And, all those prayers are working- thank you all so much!


June 22, 2011

Some sweet and some not-so-sweet news...

Sweet- Geeta will be transferred to University of North Carolina rehabilitation facility soon; not-so-sweet- she will have to wait until Monday, the 27th before that happens. Meanwhile, she has been transferred to a general ward since yesterday night- and her vitals (BP, heart rate, oxygen saturation, etc.) are stable.

Sweet- Geeta's daughter, Pragati (who is a nurse by profession) is coming to the US to take care of Geeta and Pratik; not-so-sweet- she was unable to secure tickets before Sunday, the 26th. She will reach the Raleigh-Durham airport on Monday evening.

Fundraiser: As of today (3 pm EST), the total money raised through this website is $16,528.86. Other donations via other means has totaled $2423. Therefore, net total money raised so far = $18,951.59.

Expenses: The total money charged by a third-party ambulance service (requiring upfront payment) to transport Geeta from the hospital (VA) to the rehab facility (NC) is $3811.40; full upfront payment gave a 15% discount, summing the bill to be $3239.69. For further details on expenses, please check this website later.

The most important thing is that both Geeta and Pratik are doing a lot better, both physically and mentally; and the overall situation for the Chhetri family is improving. This would not have happened without the continued help and support of friends, family and well-wishers.


June 20, 2011

Glimmers of hope!!!

On Friday afternoon, Pratik was told that the University of North Carolina Rehabilitation Center (Chapel Hill, NC) accepted Geeta to be under their facility, and that she would be transferred there as soon as her condition improves. Since Saturday morning, Geeta has been off the blood pressure (BP) medication, which was the last thing she had to be off of in order to be able to be transferred to a general ward/ rehab facility. The doctors have been monitoring her BP since and she has been doing well without the medication. Today, Pratik was interviewed by the UNC rehab folks, and if everything goes well, Geeta and Pratik will most probably be transferred to the facility tomorrow. Geeta still has limited, but improving mobility on her arms, but is yet to be able to move her legs on her own. She will receive special courses of physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy while at the rehab facility, and hopefully, will recover significantly in the next 6-8 weeks. Her full recovery might still take up to a year or two, or even longer.

Meanwhile, Pratik is still on the back-brace, but has been off pain medications since Saturday evening. He says his back still hurts a little, but the pain is not excruciating for him to be on the medications. It will be another 2 weeks before the doctors can evaluate his conditions, to decide whether or not he needs surgery on his back. Once Geeta and Pratik move to North Carolina, Pratik will start seeing new doctor(s) there.

Pratik's sister, Pragati has her visa interview on Tuesday morning (Nepali time i.e. around 11.30pm EST, Monday).

Fundraiser: The Chhetri family really appreciates the overwhelming support of all known and unknown friends and well wishers across the world. As of today (3 pm EST) total money raised through this website is $15,101.59. Other donations (including direct wire transfer, cash, fundraiser at LaGuardia Community College, NYC) has totaled $2223. Therefore, net total money raised so far = $17,324.59.

Expenses: So far, Pratik has been using the money for daily use (food, transportation, immediate daily items, hotels, mailing documents to Nepal, etc.). He has spent somewhere between $700- $1000, and has been saving all the receipts, which will all be transparent through this website, in the near future. The Mary Washington Hospital folks have estimated the ambulance costs for Geeta's transfer to UNC rehab to be somewhere between $3000- $5000, exact details will be posted soon. Additional immediate costs include (but are not limited to) Pragati's travel-fare to the U.S. (in the vicinity of $2000), the cost of room and board for Pratik and his sister while attending their mom at the UNC rehab facility. Other updates on the financial status will be posted on this website regularly.

Pratik's housing: Thanks to Cindy Kohl, Pastor Koehler and the Redeemer Church (VA) family, Anne and Pastor Baker (King's Lutheran Church, MI), and Bhim Dahal and family for their generosity and hospitality, who offered/ arranged housing for Pratik, while at Fredericksburg, VA.

Sincere gratitude to Samik Upadhaya and Eric Willoughby (Pratik's friends and roommates), and Dil Chhetri, Uttara Basnet, Priyanka Chhetri and Dipti Chhetri (Pratik and Geeta's close family friends) for physically being there for Pratik and Geeta for a week each. Many thanks to Chiranjibi Sapkota and Kamala Sapkota (VA), Poonam Neupane and family (VA), Amit Lama (NY) and Phurba Yangji Sherpa (MD) for making a long trip to the hospital to visit and boost the morale of Pratik and Geeta at the hospital.

News coverage: On Saturday, Free Lance-Star, a local newspaper publisher at Fredericksburg, covered a story on Pratik and Geeta.
On Sunday, CM-Life, a student newspaper at Central Michigan University, also published an article on them. (Links also posted under "News Coverage")

Thank you all, each and everyone of you, for all the help and prayers, and all the support to the Chhetri family!! Please continue to spread the word for donations, support and prayers!

June 15, 2011

Thank you everyone for all the support and prayers for the Chhetri family. Till date, over $14,000 has been collected. And, Pratik has been saving receipts and keeping track of all the expenses. To address some of the questions of the donors, here is the recent update: while it is the hope that the insurance company for the bus will cover all expenses, there will not be any payments until the case is settled, which will not happen for a long time due to the nature of the injuries. Thus, Chhetri family will certainly need some money to help with expenses while the case progresses.

Pratik's mom seems to recover slowly, she has been off the ventilator for a couple of days now, and the speech, physical and occupational therapists have started some therapy on her since yesterday. She maintains limited mobility on her arms but none on her legs yet. She, however, still has touch/ pain sensation on them. The hospital is looking into transferring her to a spinal cord injury rehabilitation center as soon as her conditions improve.

Pratik is still on a back-brace, and it will be another two weeks before the neurosurgeons can determine whether or not he needs surgery for his fractures.

Please continue to keep them in your prayers.


June 12, 2011

Pratik's mom, Geeta is off the ventilator and is breathing on her own now; with the aid of a special valve that will be placed on her throat, speech therapists will try to make her talk a little tomorrow.

Pratik is scheduled for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) examination tomorrow in the afternoon.


June 9, 2011

Pratik is on a back-brace for his thoracic fractures. It is very difficult to predict anything as of now because he is being monitored as to how his body is going to respond to the brace. It would be great if his body heals naturally and not require any surgery, but again, nothing can be concluded yet. 

Pratik's mom still requires the aid of a ventilator to breathe. However, she underwent a tracheostomy today, meaning, an opening was surgically created on her trachea (windpipe). It seems to be relatively easier on her compared to when she had a breathing tube through her mouth. It is not easy to say when she will be transferred to a rehabilitation facility. She continues to communicate using gestures and at one point she even gave a smile. One day at a time.


June 9, 2011

Thank you for all of the donations as well as the kind thoughts and prayers that you have given to Pratik and his mom. Please check this webpage for any updates. The fund has collected over $8,000 so far. It will be used for immediate and some long-term expenses. Among immediate expenses are the costs associated with Pratik's sister's (and possibly his dad's) travel to the United States. The funds will also be used to arrange Pratik and his family's accommodation (lodging, food, transportation, etc.) among other things. One other major cost that we have been notified of will be the process of transferring Pratik's mom to a rehabilitation center. The actual transportation will need to be specially taken care of and thus will be expensive (in the vicinity of $3,500). In addition, this will help Pratik pay for his prescription drugs (that his insurance will not cover) for the time being. Please note that these are just some of the costs that have been thought of. Obviously, these costs are estimates and are not comprehensive.

The accident is currently under investigation. We have been advised not to discuss any legal aspects of the accident. These updates will primarily be about the recovery status of Pratik and his mom. Thank you again for the invaluable support that you have provided. It is both appreciated and needed. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.