“I was injured in Mullivaikkal when we were displaced in 2009, when a piece of shrapnel from a shell pierced through my spine. We could not do any treatment for one week as we were constantly on the move.
Finally, we held on to our lives and reached the military-controlled area, where I was able to get treatment and medication. Once they checked my wound, they said they could remove the shrapnel if the wound was fresh. They did not remove one piece since a liquid had started to ooze out of the wound. They gave me medicine saying that the piece would eventually come out.
I could not walk for three months, my wife and sister used to carry me everywhere. I started walking normally once the wound healed. After resettlement, I was the one who did the farming and helped build a house for us. I did not feel any pain at that time, just a numbness in my leg. A week after we finished the house, I found myself in unbearable pain. I cannot describe that in words. Finally, I went to the Kilinochchi hospital in 2015, unable to bear the pain.
A doctor checked on me at the hospital. He injected my spine twice, and said the pain would reduce and I would feel better. But the pain only increased. He kept saying that we will operate later, and suddenly, he was transferred to another hospital. The new doctor asked me to bring all my family members to the hospital, where he said that there was a chance I would be paralysed if I had an operation. That scared my wife, and fearing that something would happen to me, she said that we shouldn’t operate.
I have been inside the house for three years. Either my wife or my sister has to help me, as I cannot do anything on my own. How many days can I stay like this? I had the desire to get up and walk. I thought to myself ‘whatever has to happen, will happen’ and went to the Jaffna hospital. They ask me to come to the clinic continuously.
Both my children are schooling. My wife is the only one who works, she does everything from farming, bathing the cows, cleaning the stable, and clearing the cow dung. I feel sorry for her, because I cannot help her in any way. I go to Jaffna using the money which she brings home.
I was asked to come for a blood and urine check on January 27th 2019. The doctor said that the operation can be performed that day itself and asked me to be ready. I immediately called my younger sister and informed her. Four doctors operated on me for five and a half hours. I opened my eyes after around seven hours. I was at hospital for four days.
I am not healed completely. Doctors have asked me not to bend down. However, we don’t have the necessary toilet facilities to make this easy, so I use a chair for that purpose. I don’t need any help, I will somehow manage this situation as well.
We handed over two of my brothers and my brother-in-law to the military. We would be grateful if you could help us locate them.”