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03 October 2023

Facebook miracle: Bed-ridden girl walks to school

By Correspondent

While Facebook is often slammed for a variety of reasons, a campaign on the social media web site has helped to cure a poor girl in Sri Lanka of a rare disease.

Dilani Sandamali,  aged 14 now, had been bed-ridden for many years because of ‘Wilson’s Disease’, a rare genetic disorder in which copper accumulates in tissues, affecting the liver and manifesting as neurological or psychiatric symptoms. The disease needs to be treated with medication to reduce copper absorption or removes excess copper from the body.

Hailing from Bandarawela, Dilani and her mother lived in great poverty in a shanty made of tin sheets at the foot of a hill.

Dr Palitha Bandara Subasinghe, director of the Bandarawela Base Hospital, who had been treating her, said Dilani needed medication worth Rs6,000 per day which her mother could not afford at all.

So Dr Subasinghe decided to launch a Facebook campaign to raise money for her medication. After he shared Dilani’s plight among all those whom he knew, donations started pouring in.

The donations not only enabled the doctor to cure Dilani with medication but also build a neat little house for her and mother with the help of villagers and the hospital’s staff.

On February 2, Dilani began to go to school after many years from her new home. She fell at the feet of the many people who visited her home to show her gratitude.

Dr Subasinghe has set the right example of being a human before being a man of medicine.