In July (please see July 11 post) , Bodhi Seeds set out to help a Tibetan nun living in Legon, Tibet named Ani Lhaga. She needed $11,000 to pay for hip replacement surgery. With the aspirations of people from across the world, that goal has been reached.
Acharya Tashi called Lama Ajo and told him that money is available for his sister's new hip. She will go to Chengdu to have the best techniques applied by the best surgeons for the best outcome.
In seeking to help Ani Lhaga, men and women from Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, the Republic of China, the People's Republic of China, Romania, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have all joined together to make this possible.
The fact is Ani Lhaga is a complete stranger to every donor; nonetheless, this generosity has been shown her. There must be an empathic connection beyond the specifics of the person that once felt, bridges any apparent obstacles to giving.
Sadly, I just heard that one of Legon's residents has died. Of all the home visits we made, we spent the greatest amount of time with her. Speaking barely above a whisper, she tried to pull something from us that I don't think we could have provided. I think she just wanted her will to return, her will to do things that would have made it possible for her to continue to live. But, she was immobilized and frozen. She had stopped eating and had stopped keeping a fire in the house.
We asked the right questions: was there family (yes, two young children, a brother), could the community help (no more than it had already done), what had worked in the past, etc. She had been hospitalized for a diagnosis of depression in the past, but whatever gains were made were soon lost and she always returned to this vegetative-like state.
Perhaps there was some underlying disorder that was the cause of this horrible situation, this psychological paresis. Maybe she had some metabolic disorder. I remember once being asked to consult on a woman who stopped talking and stopped taking care of herself. She was suffering from extremely low calcium. But certainly, the hospital doctors would have worked these things up. Doctors as far back as the nineteenth century may have called this "aboulia", a disease of the brain involving the frontal lobes, or perhaps the basal ganglia. We don't know.
In the end, I'm not sure of the cause of her death. Was it depression? Did she die of suicide? Was this a result of brain injury? Her children, what would become of them? Lama la asked if Bodhi Seeds could help. How?
Ahh...My heart wishes there could have been a different outcome.