Exiled From Home Country, Padam Now Thrives
I always welcome the opportunity to share stories with you that highlight how Mosaic’s personalized services give people the opportunity to achieve more than was previously possible. That’s certainly the case with Padam Thapa.
When Padam smiles, his eyes draw you in to feel his joy, which makes you smile, too. Seeing his grin, you’d never know the many challenges he has faced in life. But now, thanks to our Mosaic at Home service, he is living a full and happy life.
Padam was born in Bhutan, but his family was forced into exile in Nepal when he was 6 years old. There, they entered a refugee camp of thousands. For 18 years, 10 members of his family lived in two tents, relying on rations from the United Nations with no opportunity to get ahead.
During those years, Padam started showing signs of schizophrenia in addition to his disability. There was also a risk of violence against Padam if people thought he had something of value to steal or simply could not or would not understand his disability or his behavior.
Coming to the U.S., Padam continued to live with his extended family. He did not receive any assistance with his disability until around 2019, when he entered a day service program. Unfortunately, he started having hallucinations, which kept him out of the program at times, and then the pandemic caused it to close.
Tara Harban, Padam’s younger sister, said at the time there was a growing awareness within the family that Padam needed more than they could provide. Thankfully, they found our Mosaic at Home program and our provider, Sharon Kimmeto. Tara called Sharon “the angel we’d been praying for.”
Padam moved in with Sharon and her husband Ben in October 2021. The most immediate difference, she said, was that Padam was much more calm in her home. Tara agreed, noting that being around too many people and too much activity can make Padam anxious.
There have been challenges, too. Padam has difficulty sleeping through the night, and the hallucinations have continued, although they don’t come as often. Additionally, Padam was overweight with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Through food management that included a healthier diet with vegetables (which are not Padam’s favorite) and regular walks with Sharon, Padam has now lost weight and been able to discontinue several of his medications.
Success came, Sharon said, because she was able to give him one-on-one focus time that he wasn’t able to receive before. “I came to realize Padam likes attention, likes to be taught things slowly, and he likes you to get connected to him,” she said. She has found that to calm him, it’s important to give him choices, like going for a walk, going for a car ride or watching his favorite show. Sometimes, all it takes is a hug and a soothing voice.
Padam’s success with Sharon has also given new freedom to his family. There’s no longer a question of Tara quitting her job to care for him, or Padam moving back in with his parents, who are growing older.
Every person we serve at Mosaic has unique challenges and unique opportunities. That’s why Mosaic’s personalized approach is so important. As Padam’s story shows, personalized services can be life-changing.
Watch this video to hear from Sharon about her experience helping Padam excel.