Tuesday, July 5, 2016

From the Ashes of War

In Central Park the other day, Connor Golden 

stepped on something that blew up.  He was 18.

He was taken to the hospital where his leg was amputated below the knee.

Police are still investigating to determine who put the explosive there, how, and why.  But they don't think it was terrorism or an effort to kill.  Just one of those things that happens when someone leaves an explosive on the ground.

Not so along the Myanmar/Thailand border.  We know the how and why of what's there.

There are land mines.  There are dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands left over from clashes between ethnic-minority rebels and the Myanmar army.  Intended to maim and kill.

Which, I suppose, makes what happened to Mosha just one of those things, too.  But planned, even if the victim wasn't.

Mosha stepped on a land mine.  Like Connor, she lost a leg.

She was taken to The Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang, Thailand.

Where Doctor Therdchai Jivacate, 

realized that "the way she walked was unbalanced and her spine was going to bend."  Something had to be done for her or "she would have died."

Dr. Jivacate is an orthopedic surgeon.  He fashioned a prosthetic leg.

Elephants grow quickly.  Mosha weighed about 600 kg when she got her first leg.

The first year, Mosha went through three legs.  

It's been six years now./  Mosha weighs over 2000 kg, and she's on her ninth prosthesis.

Motola, too, stepped on a mine.  Dr. Jivacate treated her, too.

Though she's struggled with her leg.

“I think she knows that I make her prosthetic legs," Dr. Jivacate said of Mosha, "as each time I come to the elephant hospital she makes a little salute by raising her trunk in the air.”

Which isn't really surprising.  After all, we know about elephants.

Mosha, I suspect, would send her best wishes to Connor Golden.

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