By Dr. B.K.Prashanth
The institution where I am working had an opportunity to conduct a Medical Rehabilitation Program to the people suffering from paraplegia (loss of sensation and mobility of body below the waist level) occurred due to spinal injury.
As a doctor, I have the opportunity to interact with patients and their family members. From close quarters I could understand the difficulty of the patient who faces health related problems like uncontrolled bowel movements, muscle wasting of the affected part, bed sores, lack of mobility and the dependency on others for their individual routine work. Above all physical problems stood the mental hurdles the patients faced in terms of depression, lack of self-confidence, suicidal tendency and a sense of unworthiness to the family and society.
To motivate and inspire such patients towards better life, the institution along with an NGO had arranged for motivational speaker who himself is a paraplegic but has overcome the mental hurdle with his grit and sheer determination.
I am keeping the identity of the speaker hidden for privacy purpose but have invited him to share his experiences in this forum in future. He addressed the medical students of the institution and the students were truly inspired from him.
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He is aged about 33, who was having a prosperous career in a multinational company. The world turned upside down when he met with a traffic accident riding a motorbike. In a matter of few seconds his future lay shattered.
He was admitted to a reputed hospital, underwent all the necessary diagnostic tests before doctors declared him paraplegic. He shifted to Ayurvedic treatment without much success. He was confined to his bed and room for the next 6 years depending upon his family members for his daily routine.
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He lost his job, financial support for his family members, his friends and social support. His family members also had an additional responsibility of taking care of him, who few weeks back was supporting them. Slowly he lost self-confidence, slipped to depression and even wondering the purpose of his further life.
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Life slowly started changing when he came to know about rehabilitation center for people suffering from paraplegia in Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu. After intense rehabilitation for 2 years, he has become independent for doing his routine daily regime.
He has been trained to shift to bed from wheel chair and vice versa. There is muscle wasting in the lower limbs but mild physiotherapy daily keeps the body toned. Now there is a sense of achievement, a sense of purpose in life. With the help of wheelchair he can move from one place to another independently.
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The determination of the person has enabled him to move up and down the ramps in multi storied buildings, climb few steps using wheelchair and even free-wheeling!! Riding motorbike is fun again and the speaker will be driving a hand operated modified car soon. His dream is to travel all over the country and different parts of the globe to inspire and motivate people suffering from physical deformities and spinal injuries to lead a satisfying life.
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What I learnt today
- Never take life and our health for granted. You never know when destiny change its mood and our life will be changed in a few minutes.
- Life is not to be spent brooding over failures, lack of opportunities or blaming someone else or destiny for the failures.
- There are enough opportunities to be explored and life spent in a meaningful manner.
- Mental determination can overcome the physical deformities and inspire to lead a satisfying life.
- Not only doctors, even a common man can bring about change in a patient with his inspiration and guidance.
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