Nets that Save a Live
Story | Created at 23 December 2020 | Arnice Ajawaila
"I was one of the longest-hospitalized patients in Bob Bazar Hospital. Everyone had gone home but Pak Rudi and I were still there for quite a long time. When I was finally discharged from the hospital, fortunately there was still a room for me and my family in temporary shelter of Wisma Atlet. Even though I have to have regular treatment in the hospital, but we really wanted to see different environment. We were in hospital for almost 1,5 months.”
Pak Zul (43 yo) and Mrs. Nurhayati (37 yo) and their two children, Rizki (11 yo) and Arza (8yo) told me similar story every time I visited them. It was my 9th meeting with this family since they were still in Bob Bazar Hospital, in Kalianda sub-district.
When the tsunami struck the coastline of Kunjir sub-village, there were only Mrs. Nur and her two children in their house. Mr. Zul was visiting his friend in Bob Bazar Hospital. After the first wave, Mrs. Nur was still able to help the children out of the house and took them across the road to a higher place. At that time, it was really dark and Mrs. Nur decided to go home to get a flashlight so it would be easier for them to go to the mountain.
“Everyone shouted and ran, but I didn’t realized that it was tsunami. There was no sign like earthquake, low tide…like what people always say in the TV. I just said to my children, wait for a while, I will take the flashlight”
Mrs. Nur was trying to find a flashlight in the darkness, she kept thinking about her children. She never thought that the second wave, which was bigger, would come. The second wave was very different, much larger and filled by mud and debris. The wave dragged Mrs. Nur about 100 meters from her house.
“It was like being rolled by the wave…like being washed in a washing machine, I was carried to the left and right. I fought as best as I could, tried to survive until the water receded. I just realized that my house was destroyed. I wanted to run but my foot was trapped in the nets. I tried to pull the nets out, but it’s so hard. The nets were green, I didn’t really know what it was, fishing nets or snare. The net was holding me back when the second wave occurred.
“I shouted for help, but no one passed by. Finally, I tried to pull myself up until the net broke. But I couldn’t walk. I crawled dragging my right foot. I was looking for my children, worried if there would be a third wave. Alhamdulillah, there was my neighbor passed by using motorcycle. They already went up to the mountain, but they went down looking for people. They found me on the road. I was naked, blood were everywhere, my feet was really hurt”
“Before dawn, health team finally showed up. Thankfully, they took me to Bob Bazar Hospital. The doctors said that the skin in my feet should be grafted, using skin from my thigh to cover the injured skin”
They didn’t think about anything else, whether the assistance was given or not. They didn’t expect anything. “I just wanted my wife to be better soon” said Mr. Zul. “People out there, asking for assistance, fight one to another. But we didn’t care if we didn’t receive assistances”
“Until we moved here, there was no more assistance. What we got in the hospital such as clothes and mattress, those were the only things we brought. Other people have already had mattress, container, stove, blanket, clothes, cupboard, and anything else, but we didn’t get any”.
“That is why this rice cooker, container, floor mat, and these tools are really useful especially for me that have to cook for my wife and children. When we were still in hospital, we’re grateful to have YEU’s support by giving us meal vouchers. But here and now, we have to be more independent.”
Even though, she still feels the sadness every time she remembers the event, Mrs. Nur keeps on moving, she tries to be optimistic about the future as she’s not alone. She had Mr. Zul and her two children who motivate her. The laughter and tears of each visit became energy for me to continue on my service and hopefully for Mrs. Nur’s family. My prayer for Mrs. Nur and all the families affected by the tsunami, may God protects them.