Sonam on far right in better days. (Picture sent by a friend)

Dhan Maya hopeful for recovery of Sonam Tamang but medical prognosis still grim

Dhan Maya Tamang has been visiting her daughter on a daily basis after reaching Japan on 27th July.

When The Bhutanese contacted the mother on Friday she said she has no idea about what is happening back in country, but she said for now she is only looking after her sick daughter and that is the only concern she has.

Dhan Maya, however, did say that some of the Bhutanese students in Japan shared with her that it is very difficult for them to pay back the loan. They also told her that after they are done paying the loan, they will go back to Bhutan.

Dhan Maya is currently staying with Sonam’s roommate Tashi but she said, “I do not know where I will be staying, but I am comfortable here since my daughter stayed in this apartment.”

“I went to see my daughter the day I reached Japan and I have been visiting her since and I also met with her doctor. I asked her doctor about her health and he said my daughter is recovering from Tuberculosis,” said the mother.

She said the Japanese person who is accompanying her has been picking her up and dropping her in the hospital.

Talking about her daughter’s condition she said, “When I looked into my daughter’s face and knowing the fact that she breathes with the help of a life support machine, I couldn’t stop myself from asking the doctor, if she will be recovering? The doctor told me that my daughter will take time to recover.”

“I was relieved when I heard my daughter will recover although she may take time and when I see my daughter’s face, I don’t know why but my inner intuition tells me that she will recover,” said the mother.

Dhan Maya is a heart patient and those around her, including her elder son Pasang Tamang, is still yet to share some critical but sensitive medical information on Sonam Tamang which even this paper is withholding until Dhan Maya finds out for herself.

One medical information which is already public for a while and was also shared by Pasang is that Sonam Tamang has around 99.99 percent brain damage.

The Prime Minister in a recent update on his official Facebook page said that Sonam is ‘brain-dead.’

The Bhutanese asked Sonam’s roommate about her condition since Tashi has been observing her for over a year. Tashi said that Sonam Tamang’s condition seems to be the same as before.

However, until Dhan Maya finds out for herself this paper cannot reveal the critical information of Sonam Tamang’s exact chances of recovery or the lack of it which is also known to Pasang.

In a sign that the doctors are trying to break some medical news gently to her, Dhan Maya in her own words said that the doctor showed her a computer monitor and told her that Sonam’s condition has reached her brain.

The mother said she wants to be with her daughter and her visa is just for a month. She said she does not know what will be happening after 30 days but she really wishes to stay back since she has hope that her daughter will recover.

She also asked The Bhutanese on what labour ministry has said about the extension of visa and if she will be allowed to stay with her daughter after 30 days?

She said for now she is happy that she is in a place where her daughter is as Tashi is just like her daughter.

Many Bhutanese youths who are in Japan are willing to see Sonam’s mother to donate and encourage her and also to visit Sonam in the hospital.

Upon hearing this Dhan Maya said she will meet them soon since she has been feeling unwell due to a long flight.

“I am thankful to the well-wishers who supported me and are praying for my daughter. I am sure god will listen to the thousands of prayers and help my daughter recover,” said the mother.

For now, Sonam’s mother and brother Pasang are staying with Sonam’s roommate until they find an apartment near the hospital.

Yumiko Kan, a Japanese social worker said she has already booked a flat for Dhan Maya. However, the Japanese agent SND has not allowed Yumiko access to Dhan Maya yet.

The Bhutanese students are also planning to meet Sonam and her mother in the coming days.

Yumiko Kan along with Bhutanese students in Japan went to receive Sonam’s mother Dhan Maya and brother Pasang in the Fukuoka airport and she also shared that she along with other Bhutanese students will help Sonam and her family in Japan.

However, the agent Mr. Minemori Endo using a letter from the Director General Sherab Tenzin took over Dhan Maya and Pasang and stopped NHK from interviewing them saying NHK has to get permission from the Bhutanese government first, which is false.

According to Yumiko, the agent initially said he is planning to take the mother and son to Nagasaki which is around four hours away. However, after a story by The Bhutanese the agent agreed to keep Dhan Maya near the hospital and promised NHK an informal meeting with the family.

However, when Pasang did meet NHK for an informal interaction he told them he could not talk much because many things are going and he said he needs time to talk to the media.

Also few Bhutanese students who went to see Sonam too were asked to get permission from the Labour Ministry.

Lawyer Ngawang Tobgay of the Parents’ Committee said when he was in Japan representing the Parents’ Committee he was just about to see Sonam when a probable call from SND led to the hospital cancelling the appointment.

Ngawang said that Tashi has been appointed by the BEO in Bhutan to look after Sonam.

Even Yumiko Kan said that BEO and SND have prevented her from seeing Sonam Tamang and enquiring on the real health condition of Sonam.

Meanwhile, in response to questions by The Bhutanese an official from labour ministry, Phurba Sonam Waiba of the Overseas Unit said the ministry did not issue any letter or order imposing any restriction on people wanting to visit Sonam in the hospital.

The official said in the last visit even senior officials were not let in to see Sonam in the ward because she had Tuberculosis, so it was quite risky to meet. That was one of the reasons, said the official.

The official said there are many other rules and regulations of the hospital which does not allow outsiders to visit.

“We have not issued or imposed any restriction but we also do not know how the person who was appointed (agent) said so or explained to others who wanted to see Sonam and her family. So we have nothing to say on his response,” said the official.

The labour official also said the letter from MoLHR does not impose any press restrictions on Dhan Maya and they they have not issued any order barring them from talking to the media.

The official said that according to the Labour Ministry’s regulation, the agent has the obligation to repatriate and help or get other assistance even if the agents are deregistered.

About Usha Drukpa

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