Gavin Gough
Editorial, Humanitarian & Travel Photographer
Seven year-old Lubina was badly injured during the 2015 earthqua

Lubina's Story, Nepal

Emergency Response, Humanitarian, NGO Client

Critically injured in the Nepal earthquake, Lubina required urgent medical attention.

 Lubina and her family were found sheltering in a school, during a post-earthquake inspection visit by team members from the  Splash  NGO.

Lubina and her family were found sheltering in a school, during a post-earthquake inspection visit by team members from the Splash NGO.

Inspecting Lubina's X-ray

Inspecting Lubina's X-ray

Shortly before midday on the 25th April, 2015, Lubina was playing outside with friends. When the earthquake struck, she was buried beneath falling rubble. Her legs and pelvis were broken.

 Having been recovered from the rubble, Lubina was taken to a local hospital but with limited resources and hundreds of injured victims to treat, the staff could only provide rudimentary medical care.

Having been recovered from the rubble, Lubina was taken to a local hospital but with limited resources and hundreds of injured victims to treat, the staff could only provide rudimentary medical care.

 With their home badly damaged and left unsafe, Lubina's family took shelter in a nearby school. Lubina's legs had been secured with a simple cast and basic painkillers were her only medication.

With their home badly damaged and left unsafe, Lubina's family took shelter in a nearby school. Lubina's legs had been secured with a simple cast and basic painkillers were her only medication.

 Clearly shocked and feeling the pain from her injuries, Lubina fell into a sleep whilst her mother remained constantly by her side.

Clearly shocked and feeling the pain from her injuries, Lubina fell into a sleep whilst her mother remained constantly by her side.

 When Lubina awoke, the pain from her injuries made her cry out. Without medical attention, the risk of infection from her wounds was serious.

When Lubina awoke, the pain from her injuries made her cry out. Without medical attention, the risk of infection from her wounds was serious.

Emergency Response

Emergency Response

Team members from Splash were able to organise an ambulance to take Lubina to an emergency clinic on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

 Throughout the one-hour journey in the ambulance, Lubina was constantly reaching for the reassuring grasp of her mother's hand.

Throughout the one-hour journey in the ambulance, Lubina was constantly reaching for the reassuring grasp of her mother's hand.

 Lubina's mother and grandmother remained by her side during what must have been a confusing and painful journey.

Lubina's mother and grandmother remained by her side during what must have been a confusing and painful journey.

 Having been inside the unlit schoolroom for three days, Lubina's eyes were not accustomed to the bright sunlight outside.

Having been inside the unlit schoolroom for three days, Lubina's eyes were not accustomed to the bright sunlight outside.

Inside the ambulance

Inside the ambulance

 Lubina looks to her grandmother for reassurance during the journey.

Lubina looks to her grandmother for reassurance during the journey.

 Lubina's grandmother held Lubina's hand throughout the bumpy journey out of Kathmandu to the Emergency Clinic.

Lubina's grandmother held Lubina's hand throughout the bumpy journey out of Kathmandu to the Emergency Clinic.

Arriving at the Emergency Clinic

Arriving at the Emergency Clinic

At the emergency clinic, Lubina was quickly seen, assessed and cared for by the volunteer doctors and staff working with Mercy Malaysia.

Transfer to the Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital

Transfer to the Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital

Having assessed her injuries, staff organised a speedy transfer to the nearby Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital

Medical Assessment

Medical Assessment

Doctors quickly assessed Lubina's injuries and organised a care package. Lubina would require rehydration before she could be moved into surgery for the critical operation on her legs and pelvis.

 Further x-rays were taken to ascertain the extent of Lubina's injuries.

Further x-rays were taken to ascertain the extent of Lubina's injuries.

 Remaining by her side, Lubina's mother did not let go of Lubina's hands.

Remaining by her side, Lubina's mother did not let go of Lubina's hands.

 Even before the temporary casts were removed, it was clear to see the toll that the injuries had taken upon Lubina's twisted legs.

Even before the temporary casts were removed, it was clear to see the toll that the injuries had taken upon Lubina's twisted legs.

Expert medical care

Expert medical care

A nurse administers the long-overdue painkillers to Lubina.

 The trauma of her injuries and the discomfort suffered in recent days comes to the surface as Lubina cries out.

The trauma of her injuries and the discomfort suffered in recent days comes to the surface as Lubina cries out.

Resting

Resting

As the painkillers begin to take effect, Lubina finally falls into a restful sleep with her mother by her side.

Six Months Later

Six Months Later

In October 2015, Lubina returned to the temple where she was playing when the earthquake struck. Now almost fully recovered, Lubina was back at school and despite a slight limp which would improve in the coming months, she was walking and running with great energy and enthusiasm.

Recovery

Recovery

9,000 people lost their lives as a direct result of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. 22,000 suffered significant injuries and many tens of thousands were left homeless and displaced when their homes were seriously damaged.

Thanks to the quick thinking of the team at Splash, the expert emergency response from the volunteers at Mercy Malaysia and the dedicated care given by the doctors, nurses and staff at the Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital, Lubina is likely to make a full and complete recovery.