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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

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.

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