Laxmipriya is just 13 years old and has already endured more than most her age. She is from the state of Odisha in India where she lives with her sister and father. Laxmipriya’s mother died ten years ago.
A few years ago, Lepra diagnosed Laxmipriya with leprosy and started her on a six-month course of multi-drug therapy.
“When I was diagnosed with leprosy I was very sad as I thought it could not be cured.”
Like most, she was scared to tell anyone and worried it would mean she would be outcast.
At the time Laxmipriya said: “I haven't told my best friend in case she won't be friends with me anymore.”
Unlike some families, Laxmipriya’s supported her throughout treatment and although she was eventually cured, the disease left her hand clawed. This is a tell-tale sign of leprosy and could mean she’d still be taunted and treated differently in her village. She may have been unable to marry or complete her education.
Thankfully, Lepra were able to fund reconstructive surgery for Laxmipriya that would restore functionality to her hand.
Now, after surgery and physiotherapy, Laxmipriya is fully recovered, can play games and can write. She visits schools along with Lepra staff to help educate other children on the symptoms of leprosy so they are aware of how important it is to seek treatment before symptoms get any worse.