Family says 6-year-old still in coma (Reproduction)
MANCHESTER – The 6-year-old struck by a car Saturday evening while crossing a dimly lit street with his grandfather has moved his hand, the only sign of improvement so far since arriving at the hospital, his family said yesterday.
Maousham Adhikari remains in a coma at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, his family said.
"The doctors say he will be better, but it will take a long time," said his sister, Jhali Adhikari, who is 22.
The heartbreaking accident has jolted a family that is just learning about life in the United States.
The Adhikaris are refugees from the South Asian country of Bhutan, a country about twice the size of New Hampshire that is wedged between India and China. They moved to the United States this past summer.
The grandfather, Kubirlal Adhikari, 64, was in Catholic Medical Center yesterday with a broken ankle, broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder, family members said. He is conscious and has talked about the accident, said a relative, Chandra Subodi.
"He said he looked on both sides, didn't see anything and crossed," Subodi said.
The two were struck about 5:20 p.m. Saturday while crossing at the intersection of Conant and West streets, not even a block from the Notre Dame Avenue apartment building where the boy lives. He had spent the day at his aunt's apartment, telling stories and playing hide-and-seek with his 3-year-old cousin, relatives said. His grandfather was taking Maousham home when the accident occurred.
Police have impounded the car and were inspecting it for mechanical defects yesterday, said Lt. Jon Hopkins, head of the Manchester police traffic division.
Hopkins said police have interviewed Kubirlal Adhikari and the driver of the Volkswagen sedan that struck the two, Joshua Bouchard, 19, of 153 Whipple St. Bouchard has been cooperative, Hopkins said.
Hopkins said there is no indication that speed or impairment came into play. Nor is there any indication that Hopkins was driving with his lights off, he said.
Conant Street, which runs beside West High School, is straight and narrow, with few if any visual obstructions. But Hopkins said it is not well-lit. Police should make a determination on the accident by Thursday, he said.
Maousham started kindergarten at Gossler Park School this year. His classmates drew get-well cards for him yesterday, said school Principal Jim Adams. The school has been in touch with the family since the accident.
On Sunday, a school district social worker, Kim Calhoun, drove some family members to the Boston hospital, Adams said.
Yesterday, the family welcomed a visitor into their slightly furnished apartment and answered questions. All were bundled against the cold snap. Older women wore traditional dress and spoke their native language. Younger adults wore puffy ski jackets and spoke in English.
The Adhikaris had lived in a refugee camp in Nepal since 1991.
Maousham's mother nodded in appreciation of condolences, but turned her head sideways and gazed off, worry etched on her face. She has not been able to go to the hospital because of her own health problems, Subodi said.
"She's worried, and she's praying to God he will be better soon," her daughter said.
The boy's father — a teacher in his native Bhutan — rode in the medical helicopter to the hospital with Maousham and has remained there since. Family members said they wanted to visit him at the hospital yesterday, but did not have a way to get to Boston.
(By MARK HAYWARD in New Hampshire Union Leader on December 09, 2008)