Last of 26/11 injured prepare to go home | india | Hindustan Times
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Last of 26/11 injured prepare to go home

india Updated: Jan 30, 2009 13:48 IST

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Two months after the Mumbai attacks, only three people are left in hospital. Poonam Singh is one of them and she is looking forward to going home.

“It's as if I’ve been reborn," she said from her bed at the city's Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy (J.J.) Hospital. "A lot of other people have not been able to go home."

The 35-year-old housewife still cannot walk unaided and is on strong painkillers but she could get her wish by the end of the week, said Shashi J. Powar, the doctor who heads the hospital's disaster management unit and control room.

The only thing now needed was a donation to buy her a walking frame, he added.

Poonam was at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station with her father, brother and two of her four children on November 26. They were waiting for Uttar Pradesh.

Instead, she was brought bleeding and unconscious to the J.J. Hospital for life-saving treatment after bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle ripped through her lower right leg and shoulder.

Like many of the 111 people taken to the J.J. after the attacks, Poonam's family have been ever-present at her bedside during her recovery — but at a price.

Her six-year-old son, Sachin, was also injured. Now recovered from a bullet wound to his right thigh, Sachin is lying asleep on a thin mattress next to his mother on Ward 6.

Her husband Santosh, a housing supervisor, has lost two months’ wages as he had to take care of their children.

Their youngest son, aged 18 months and still unnamed, doesn't recognise his mother as she has lost weight and become frailer.

In an upstairs ward, Sulochana Lokhande is also eager to leave. She was also at the station and had her left forearm smashed by bullets. Her husband, Chandrakant, was also injured but has since been released.

"When can I go home?" the 50-year-old asks Powar.

Powar can't give her an exact date but assures her it won't be long.

Eventually, Sulochana will head back to Afzalpur, in Karnataka, with money from the hospital for her train ticket and a seat reservation.