Finding hope through NYF’s Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH): Meet Rinof
In 2008, young mom Rijana sat wide-eyed in a Kathmandu hospital, cradling her 10-month-old son Rinof while the doctor gave her a set of seemingly impossible discharge instructions. Her heart sank as she listened.
Rinof had had a terrible infection and had undergone major intestinal surgery. He weighed only 11 pounds (about half the weight of a healthy 10-month-old), and Rijana was incredibly grateful that he had survived the procedure—but for Rinof to be truly healed, he would need a second, more intensive surgery within the next few months.
The surgeons would not risk performing this second operation on a child so small. Somehow, Rijana would need to bring the boy’s weight up to at least 22 pounds, ideally by Rinof’s first birthday. Since the weight gain was not considered a medical matter, the hospital was discharging them, with instructions to return when he was ready for surgery.
Rijana could not imagine how she could accomplish this weight gain—especially with Rinof’s digestive system so fragile that it required surgery.
But then, something truly life-changing happened. As Rijana prepared to leave, she met an NYF staff member. The staff member was arriving with a nutritious meal for another child staying in the hospital. He noticed how frail and weak Rinof was, and how heartbroken Rijana seemed. He quickly told her all about the nearby Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH).
Rijana and Rinof went directly from the hospital to the NRH, where NYF’s loving staff members quickly began developing a special diet for Rinof. “At the NRH, my son got such good treatment that he started gaining weight. I also learned so much about nutrition and how to take care of my malnourished child,” Rijana says now.
“I learned so many things that I never knew. In school health classes, we are taught only theoretical things that we don’t know how to apply in real life. The NRH teaches very vital things with hands-on practice that one can apply in everyday life.”
Over the next 28 days, Rinof steadily gained weight and Rijana absorbed as much information as she could. When Rijana felt confident, she brought Rinof home to continue their progress. She excitedly shared what she had learned with her husband, Naresh. Soon, Rinof’s surgery went forward, with great success.
Today, Rinof is a strapping, vibrant young man, taller than both of his parents, and preparing to enter college.
He recently earned a certification in Computer Applications, and he spends some of his free time volunteering as an art teacher for grades 1-5 at a local school, where he is quite popular.
Top row, left and right: Rinof’s artwork; top row, center: Rinof holding his certificate of excellence in Computer Applications. Bottom row, left: Rinof’s artwork; bottom row, right: Rinof enjoying the outdoors!
“The NRH not only saved my son’s life but also taught me so much,” Rijana says. “Since my time there, I have been involved in a lot of work, mainly to do with women and children. I have worked with mothers’ groups and I have been a member of the municipal committee for child protection. Every time, the first thing I tell people is about nutrition and about the NRH.”
Rijana hopes to share this knowledge with 28 thousand people in the community—one thousand people for each day she and Rinof spent in the Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH).
Rinof’s father, Naresh, also quickly became committed to NYF’s mission. Today, Naresh is the NRH’s on-staff driver, managing both the ambulance and regular transportation for children visiting the hospital. Whenever he has an anxious parent riding along, he shows them photos of Rinof, and tells the story of his son.
Rinof’s success story is one of thousands. And it’s all possible thanks to supporters like you!