Today, Roshan Susairaj is a lively, bright, cherub-faced, young indian boy.
He was born in Chennai in July 2003. His family’s lives were devastated when the Tsunami of 2004 hit the coastline of Chennai and destroyed the housing of the poor communities living around the beach area. The government housed them in ‘temporary accommodation’ where Roshan, his older sister, mother and father were to remain for the next 10 years.
Further tragedy was to occur when in 2011 at the age of 8, Roshan was diagnosed with bone cancer and underwent above the knee amputation of his right leg. He was eventually issued with a Government Issue standard size artificial limb and returned to school, but soon became withdrawn, ostracised and outcast by his peers.
In India, serious illness or ailments are usually associated with the elderly, so the community viewed the plight of the young Roshan with ancient superstitions. The impact was enormous on the whole family. They had already lost so much in the Tsunami, were living in terrible conditions, with no finances or resources to assist Roshan in his physical and emotional needs. They were helpless, depressed and isolated.
In 2013, the Foundation was visiting the Father of the local church and Maria Elena Cuomo was told of the plight of Roshan and his family. It was agreed to support him. The Foundation contacted Dr Raj Prasanna, the Director of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation at the Apollo Hospital who carried out a full clinical assessment. The Ottobock Healthcare company was contracted to custom-build a hydraulic pneumatic prosthetic. Physiotherapy and diet were introduced to Roshan, who quickly adapted to his new, greatly improved agility and circumstances.
Regular support, maintenance and attention have allowed the family to regain their lost hope, confidence and well-being. Roshan is thriving and integrated in a new school. The mother has begun working, the father has regained employment and the sister has successfully graduated from school. In 2014, the family were rehoused in a permanent apartment complex.
Roshans’ health and welfare continues to be supported by the Foundation.