09 August 2016

I Never Dream to Live without Legs

Like rubbing salt into the wounds. Life is unpredictable. Who could have guessed? It was there before, now it’s gone. From adequate to jaded. What one can do? Nothing, he can do nothing about it. The steps are too heavy to take, even only to move any closer.

That’s how life is, for Slamet, a 48 years old man from Cimanggis, Bojong Gede, Bogor. People around him call him Slamet. He is around 48 years old. He lives in Cimanggis villages, in Bojong Gede sub-district, in province of Bogor. The unfortunate things that happen to him, seems like have no ending. Indeed, misery loves company. His life is not as lucky as other people. He is having a disability. Both of his legs are dysfunctional since they were amputated.

Now he is very dependent from the workshop owner that sometimes uses his service to assist him in the workshop. During MKNT Foundation visit few months ago, father of three told the beginning and the end of his normal life that he had before.

Long time ago, before the accident occurred, exactly before 1991. Slamet was a hardworking man. He always do what he’s capable of, he’s known as a very energetic man, always caught working on something. He is also known as a multitalented person, especially when it comes to work.

Long time ago, with his technical skills, he worked as handyman once in a construction company. He worked as a reliable handyman. He is also skillful when it comes to work. He moved back and forth, paced back and forth among the workers, carried heavy loads, tiredness, extreme sun exposure, he experience it all.

Even risky conditions are friends to him. Until someday, which was not a lucky day for him. He didn’t “survive” from all sorts of dangers around him. He was unlucky; a hard material fell on him when he was working, even worse, that thing fell right on his leg and caused a severe damage. At first, the accident only left a wound on his left leg. But unlike wound in general, it didn’t go away for years, even worse, it caused a severe infection. He was very helpless at that time, since he can do nothing about it. The doctor who treated him at that time suggested nothing but to amputate his left leg.

After the amputation process, Slamet is slowly accepting his condition that he’s different from other people now. His condition isn’t as normal as before. Even though, he never complains about his life. He always keeps living his life to the fullest; he keeps moving forward, though he’s not as light-footed as before. He goes here and there to work and support his life financially, day passes and so on.

Until one day, the same and unfortunate thing happened to him again. As if misery keeps bouncing on him. He had an accident for the second time and suffered a leg injury, again. Not on his left leg, but on his right leg this time. Indeed, misery loves company. The same unfortunate thing happened to him again after 24 years. And the wound also took a long time to heal, he doesn’t even know why. Slamet understands nothing about it, he didn’t even graduate from high school. So he just nodded and stayed in silence, imagining how life would be. When the doctor from RS PMI Bogor said that, in order to prevent any worse infection, amputation is the best way to treat the wound so it wouldn’t cause any severe infection, yes amputation, again!

What can he say; he had to let it happen. Days passed for him to live without both legs. Crawling, dragging himself, even rolling has been done by Slamet in order to move from one place to another. But as time goes by, his unluckiness gave him a bright idea. He was helped by the people around him to design and assemble a customized vehicle so he can move here and there without have to crawl. He was grateful about it, at least, a burden becomes easier for him when he is about to move around. Even right inside his heart, he is still hoping that he can move the muscles of his legs that are still remaining to his thigh.

His dreams come true. One day, this man, who used to work at the workshop, is called by MKNT Foundation, one of many foundations founded by PT Mitra Komunikasi Nusantara Tbk (MKNT), which aims to help people with physical disabilities. Through “Let’s Walk 1000 Steps” program, PT MKN is also doing this as part of corporate responsibility and social concern to public. Even this MKNT Foundation becomes the primary CSR program. Smile is seen obviously on his face. He accepted the offer right away from MKNT Foundation at that time. He was so happy knowing that MKNT Foundation was planning to visit and give him a prosthetic leg for free. He knows, that even though it won’t bring back his condition as it was before, but for him, new hopes and life are waiting to begin.

During a meeting with team of MKNT Foundation, he welcomed them enthusiastically. As if he couldn’t wait to see his remaining legs united with the prosthetic legs. The installation process took about 4 hours. Slamet seems so happy even he’s still struggling to walk on his prosthetic legs. But it doesn’t stop him to keep moving. Slowly but sure, he is learning to walk. Bit by bit and step by step, he walks. Seeing his condition, MKNT Foundation initiatively provides an additional assistance for him, which is hospital walking stick, so it would be easier for Slamet to walk.

Now Slamet is able to walk and moving forward with his life. His activity back to the way it was before. He is very happy and grateful to PT MKN, because he can walk his way again now. Step by step, Slamet feels that his life is going back to normal, even though with prosthetic legs. 

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