When I was 6 years old, I caught the poliovirus and we strongly suspect there was medical negligence. I had played in the rain for hours and got a bad fever. My parents called for the doctor who gave me injections, three times in one day. Three days later I couldn’t walk properly.
My mum was very upset – she was surprised and shocked. They went to a traditional doctor, no longer having any faith in the medical doctor. They spend lot of money trying to find a cure, but after some months they came to accept I was not going to get any better. They became very emotional when they look at me and I couldn’t walk. I heard my neighbours say it was because of karma – that I must have done a bad deed to a person or animal. I don’t believe that.
When my father passed away our life changed dramatically. Now our main source of income was gone. Mother, aged 45, now had three children, the oldest, me, around 17 with a disability, a daughter around 14 who was just finishing in primary school, and a 10 year-old son still at primary school. Our house was very simple and in need of repair. How would we survive?
Mother agreed with my sister, Sreymom, that she would have to stop her schooling and find some work to bring in some money. It was such a hard decision as our parents always wanted all the children to have an education as a way of making a successful life.