Who is Pika?

Pika is a seriously disabled child who was required to beg in the streets of Bali for many years.

In December 2009, Pika was rescued by the Bali Street Kids Project (www.ykpa.org). Her care has required extensive treatments, many medical specialists and transports, as well as social working to help her and the other children adjust to a normal life. She endured 4 surguries in 5 months, the last was life saving. She needs ongoing medical and social care for her to become a normal kid; and donations to afford it all. Please read her story (from the bottom up

Monday, January 31, 2011

Special patient and her exceptional doctor!

Yesterday, two weeks after her 6th surgery, Pika went in for another surgery followup check.  Besides being a very fortunate and strong child who has endured many hardships, she also is blessed with an exceptionally skilled and compassionate doctor, Dr Wien!

Dr Wien is an orphopedic specialist at Sanglah Hospital, Bali.

Dr Wien has been her orpthopedic doctor for over one year, and his kind manner always helps Pika relax.  Dr. Wien does not charge YKPA for Pika's care.

We wish to express our deep appreciation and respect for his care and his nature.

Monday, January 17, 2011

NO! Not surgery again?

Sadly, a few days ago Pika developed a serious infection in her amputated leg causing high fever, large swelling, redness, blood and pus. The infection started after she fell down injuring her leg in enthusiasm to learn to walk with her prosthetic leg.

Putu took her to the hospital for a few visits and strong antibiotics, but she only got worse. Four nights ago she went into emergency surgery at 11pm.

There were no empty beds in the hospital due to the epidemic of dengue now in Indonesia, so Pika stayed in the noisy surgery recovery area for 2 days before getting a regular room.

She is back home at the YKPA Orphanage now where she's receiving care by Putu and staff.

Unfortunately, besides her normal incontinence of urine, requiring she constantly wears diapers (and is still needing evaluation and care of), she is now the same for her bowels!

We are considering what this sweet grateful child now needs to continue to recover from the years of abuse.

YKPA URGENTLY NEEDS HELP IN PAYING HER HOSPITAL BILLS AND FUTURE CARE. Donations are tax-deductible in the UK, US, and Holland. Please email us at care4child@ykpa.org

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One amazing year of recovery!

After one year in orphanage care, Pika shows both her capacity for personal change, and the attention paid to her needs.

Pika is learning the joy of walking with her new prosthetic leg. As with all new prosthesis users, she is having to adapt as her stump is adapting to the use, and she's had a few big falls. She will require multiple re-fittings, and new legs as time goes on.

With the help of Bali for Kids Magazine several dedicated Bali expats and a donation from Kerry Smith (Australia) , Pika recently started violin lessons, continues to attend school, is learning to swim, and is learning a skill she loves; using a sewing machine.

Pika's care will continue to require extra funding for medical visits and supplies, and prosthetics. Pika has found her way out of begging and sleeping by the dump. Please consider helping this young teen have the opportunity of a successful life. Go to www.ykpa.org and see how you can help.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I'm still speechless, and Pika can't stop smiling...

Putu was crying, and Marlon was a big support, and taking photos.

Please everyone, send Pika an email at "Pika" and say 'congratulations'!

It's been a long road!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pika getting healthier with the help of many volunteers!

Pika is a survivor, and visiting expats recognize her strength, and also her big care needs. While Pika is receiving traditional physical therapy supervised by local Bali NGO Yakkum Bali, this is augmented by visiting expats who give what they can.

At left, well-known yoga instructor Rusty Wells is giving special loving guidance to Pika's yoga practice...remember, this is a child with a recent lower leg amputation, damaged other foot, and recovering from serious spina bifida-brain shunt surgery. We wish to give big thanks also to Tom and Howard, owners of Desa Seni Yoga Resort in Bali for the free yoga classes for the YKPA street kids.

Last week Pika made a great stride forward, overcoming her fear of entering water. This child had never had a bath, very little contact with water in general, and certainly never was swimming before. Here Holland expat Kevin is guiding Pika gently into the water, and she was loving it. Pika's life is changing for the better every day. Also helping was Marlon. Dewi is nearby and Prema is in the background.

We wish to acknowledge all the other people who donate time or money to help Pika, but you are too numerous to list. We apologize, and know you dont care about the 'fame'.

Tomorrow is the really big day when she gets her prostetic leg for the first time....a posting will show it all.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pika is at the beach!

Maybe this sounds silly to say... "at the beach", but Pika has been only able to be at home (orphanage) or hospital for many months. Now she is getting outside.

Here she is at the beach with some of her girl friends from the orphanage (she is lower left). Her smile says it all!

Soon Pika will have her prosthetic leg and be up walking with the other kids.

The adults in the photo are Putu 'Cute Girl' (YKPA Founder), Ketut (YKPA staff, center back), and Kyra Parker (long time volunteer from Australia).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Almost walking for the first time!

Last week, Putu took Pika to Yayasan Yakum Bali (nonprofit organization in Bali) and had a caster mold taken for her soon to be prosthetic lower leg.

This was an especially touching and experience, as Pika was really believing what we had promised her 9 months ago when the doctors recommended she have her badly infected lower leg amputated. She has been through a very difficult journey since then.

With 1-2 months, the next photo you see will be her actually walking, really walking for the first time ever. No longer limping on a badly deformed and infected foot. She is almost there!

Thank you Yakum Bali !!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Out of bed !!! (and smiling again)

Wonderful news: On July 5, 2010, after some two months of lying belly-down in bed following 4 surgeries in 5 months, Pika was given the okay to go to the toilet, and use crutches to walk !!!

She had a huge smile and a look of wonderment as she started exploring the world outside of her bedroom again. She is still shakey, and can only stand up for a few minutes, but she is standing !!!

I remember her resisting using crutches when she first came to the orphanage, as we were teaching her to stop putting pressure on her seriously infected foot. Now 6 months later, the foot is gone, her spina bifida mass is gone, and she is grateful to be on crutches. She can now restart physical therapy in preparation for her prosthetic leg.

She is now quickly moving towards being a fairly normal kid for the first time ever... walking around, going to school, etc. Next step... Wayan from NGO Yayasan Yakkum Bali will return to follow her physical improvement, physical therapy, and when ready, provide her new leg.

While she was in bed these months, the orphanage was re-rented, and many renovations have almost been completed, including the girls bedrooms. Pika now has a new tiled bedroom she shares with other girls, a a new toilet room suitable to her walking around in on her knees until she is stronger.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sitting up after almost 2 months down!

JUNE 7, 2010: Between surgeries and now since the last one,
Pika has been visiting her neurosurgeon Dr. Cok, at the hospital every Monday (when not in the hospital as a patient) for her endless post-surgical checks. She has had to go to there in the back seat of a taxi lying down, as the orphanage little jeep doesn't fit her well, and then carried to a hospital rolling bed. An expat friend of hers gave her a pretty scarf to wear now that she has no hair.

Pika reached a milestone, as Dr. Cok said she was ready to sit up for brief periods, but can still not lean back for some time to come. For the first few days, Pika became nauseated and vomited after sitting up for just a few minutes. Over the next week, she has slowly adjusted, and now sits up for extended periods.

After so many years suffering the humiliation of being on display from her deformities on the streets begging, of living in squalor and constantly smelling of urine and in social and intellectual isolation, she has now had to endure the loss of her (diseased and deformed) lower leg and forced to lay flat for 2 months loosing most of her body strength. She must now exercise carefully to be able to once again use the crutches we gave her after loosing her leg. After some time, she must learn to use a prosthetic leg, learn to read, learn math, and learn some skill to see her through life. She really likes the sewing classes she started when first in the orphanage.

A local NGO, Yakkum Bali (http://www.yakkumbali.org/en/home/index.htm) is going to provide a prosthetic lower leg, and two expat physical therapists will also assist her with physical therapy for recovering her strength.

Currently, Pika's outpatient medical care is costing about $85 USD/month. This is in addition to the $12K already spent.

PHOTO: Putu feeding Pika in the hospital.

Post Surgery (we hope)

JUNE 4, 2010: Pika came home from the hospital today, with no hair and thinner than ever after being required to lie on her belly for some 7 weeks so far. The other kids in the orphanage must hardly know her now that she has been gone so much to the hospital, and the girls are in fear of having no hair like her.

With the just recent renting of additional buildings for the orphanage, big renovations are happening these weeks, meaning big mess everywhere. The only good place for Pika is in a clean room that is somewhat isolated, meaning she is isolated even more from the other kids.

Every day we check her back in fear that her sutures are leaking again, but no, she is still okay.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Surgery 2, 3, and 4!

MARCH 2010: After much daily attention, it became clear that the large ulcer to Pika’s foot was not healing and the bones of an already badly formed foot had been too damaged by years of ignoring the infection. The doctors were saying “amputate the foot”!

Amputation was Pika’s first surgery. We gave her lots of support. We showed her youtube videos of kids playing football with prothetic legs like she would have later, even one of a horse with the same. She cryed, was afraid, and went into surgery holding… not her mother or fathers hand, but Putu’s hand (YKPA Founder). Putu was her new mother.

Before her amputation was healed, her neurologist was telling us he wanted to put her on the ‘urgent’ list for rep
air of her spina bifida lumbar mass. This should have been corrected as a baby, but the parents are poor and from a remote village, with no education. The parents told us later that they took her to the local village healer and asked him about her 15cm round mass, and was told to not do anything about it, because it was given to her by God. Sad that he didn’t know that these birth defects will slowly cause the loss of all nerve function to both legs as well as bowel and bladder function loss. When we found her she had already lost bladder function and both lower legs were numb… the cause of her getting the infection in her foot which caused her to loose the leg instead of having it surgically corrected as a young child.
APRIL 2010: Pika was into her second surgery for correcting her spina bifida, before her leg had healed. There are two main complications in this type of surgery that happen occasionally to some children. Pika ended up with both. First, because her body kept making enough spinal fluid to replace what was lost with the mass removed, she started leaking spinal fluid from the sutures… a lot! We found her sitting on the floor with a wet shirt and shorts, and as usual, not talking. This led to an outpatient procedure of resuturing the surgical wound. Unfortunately, this leak happened again and again, and finally resulting with infection setting in. The infection entered her spinal fluid tract and caused meningitis, for which she was hospitalized immediately for her leaking fluid, headache, and fever. This is the other of those complications that happen. Now she had both!
Quickly Pika was started on IV antibiotics and went in for surgery #3 to repair the leak again. It took only a few days for the neurosurgeon team to realize that she was going to keep leaking spinal fluid and that she needed what some 80% of kids with spina bifida require… a plastic tube ‘shunt’ ($1000 USD for that tube) placed into her skull to drain away excess
fluid into her abdominal fluid. She went into surgery #4, this time crying more. Her threshold of being ‘strong’ was passed.
Two weeks later, she was discharged to ‘home’ (the orphanage). She was to continue what was now almost 6 weeks of lying on her belly in bed to heal.
It is easy to forget Pika has parents, as the father has not returned for 4 months, and the mother only sometimes visits. However during the events around surgery #4, her mother visited the hospital once and the orphanage.

PHOTOS TOP: Putu YKPA Founder consoling Pika before her amputation surgery.
PHOTO BOTTOM: A fellow patient in the hospital came to give Pika some emotional support after she awoke from surgery in shock at having no hair.

Pika's story: December, 2009 to June, 2010

DEC 2009: The life of a neglected and abused 11 yr old child changed dramatically.
Pika (her new name), after being brought to a hospital for medical care again by the efforts of the Bali Street Kids Project (YKPA), was finally assigned to living in the YKPA Orphanage, with her father threatened with jail if he took her away again. This came about because over the previous year, several different expats had gotten Pika to medical care, but while doctors who wanted to have her admitted for care were looking elsewhere, she was spirited away by her father. He took her back to his daily routine of, as he readily admits, his using her for begging.
Pika and her father both lived in the orphanage for a few weeks, where he kept her isolated from the other children by constantly sitting with her and whispering. As she began being taken to the many medical evaluations needed, the father quickly stopped his attention and left for increasingly longer periods.
Pika life before all this was one of accompanying her father on his back around the tourist areas of Kuta Bali. Sometimes she would sit on the road side alone begging. Since being ‘rescued’ from this life, many local Balinese and expats have recognized her as the sad looking child they didn’t know how to help, besides giving her father money.

Pika lived with her mother, father and brother in a very poor shack, next to a rubbish area in Denpasar Bali. Her parents are from a poor remote village in the environmentally harsh area of eastern Bali. Most of the ‘street children’ who are ordered to ‘work’ by their parents in the tourist areas of Bali come from this area.

JAN 2010: The YKPA Founder, Putu Etiartini and volunteer began the long process of getting medical care for Pika. Over the next 5 months, the trio repeatedly visited multiple medical specialty clinics at the crowded public hospital in Denpasar. This included pediatrics, dermatology, neurology, orthopedics and surgery and required many xrays, scans, and
laboratory testing. The cost of this care initially came from the orphanage savings, and was slowly supplemented by concerned expats.
Her medical problems were found to be the following:

* Anemia and underweight (the first month of living in the orphanage, she gained 4 kg)
* Small
for age (stunted)
* Birth defects: right club foot, left foot tendon weakness, large spina bifida mass to her lower back with associated progressing neurological damage causing loss of feeling to both lower legs
* Loss of bladder function (incontinent of urine)
* Large, deep and foul smelling ulcer to her right foot with multiple drainage points, diagnosed as osteomylitis which had ‘eaten’ a large amount of the bones to that foot.
Socially, her problems were found to be the following:
* Very poor personal hygiene
* Socially isolated (it took a month for her to start smiling and talking)
* Total illiterate, had never attended any school, and did not know the days of the week
* Little enthusiasm to interact with the other children, who shuned her because of her smelling of urine and foot infection
* She had no interest in learning, seeming content to sit quietly alone

PHOTO TOP: The public hospital emergency staff checking Pika's foot.
PHOTO BOTTOM: Pika's badly infected foot with multiple bone damage.

The purpose of this blog

Pika is an abused and neglected child with multiple birth defects, physical and social problems, and entrusted to the care of YKPA, an organization helping street children in Bali Indonesia.

She needs a large team of people to help her heal her previous trauma, and afford the cost of her care.

The following posts will first give her history and history of care at the orphanage, then follow her ongoing care.

We hope you will join her team, and how about following her story at the link above!

PHOTO: After years of being carried around and having to beg, Putu got the police to finally stop it!