Aspires to open her fashion boutique
- Car accident in Nairobi, Africa in 2008 that left her paralysed
'I will keep fighting till the very end'
I was just like any other 19-year old, full of energy and someone who would not sit at a place for a long time. But now it has been 11 years and eight months since I have been ‘home-quarantined’, rather ‘room-quarantined’. A trip to Nairobi, Africa in 2008 changed my life. We were on a vacation to the beautiful place after I had completed my first year exams; I was studying fashion designing. Ten days into the trip, we were travelling in a car, a tyre-burst caused the car to flip thrice. I was lying down on the backseat, with my head in my mother’s lap at that time, probably why I got injured badly.
Sixteen hours later, I opened my eyes to realise that that is the only part of my body which moved. My spinal cord was damaged and a nerve in the neck was jammed, which caused paralysis in my lower body. Within 10-15 days I was airlifted to Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai, where I was operated upon. One month later, I was shifted to a hospital in Vadodara, where I was kept under observation for 15 days. Even after coming back home, I was bedridden and completely dependent on family for my needs. It took me years to just move my arms. I could not even sit without the braces on my neck and back. It was annoying.
Physiotherapy helped me strengthen my upper body. Though there is still difficulty in the movement of my fingers, my hands are now strong enough to punch someone hard. I have recovered almost 80 per cent. The only body part left to recover are my legs, but I can feel warmth in them too. I am really looking forward to resuming physiotherapy treatment — which I haven’t been receiving for the past two months due to the pandemic — so that I can get back to normal life soon. When I ‘stand on my own feet’, I want to open my boutique.
I will keep fighting until the very end, something I have been doing since the very beginning. My tattoo also says this, ‘Until the very End’ and so does my Instagram account which I started to share my story and motivate people. I don’t know when and where I adopted this zesty attitude towards life, but I made it a point to remain positive throughout. God has His own way to give you. If He takes something from you, He also gives you something else in return. I believe He has given me the power and strength to fight this battle. I was someone who wasn’t even aware of paralysis. I have come a long way, from being an impatient and short-tempered girl to a patient and calm human. My family has been a huge support too in my journey. My friends have also been not less than my family in these trying times.
Earlier, I used to drive a car, dance my heart out and was a very active girl. Today, my routine is listening to music, watching television and going out with family and friends. Like any young girl in Vadodara, I love garba and would be the first person to go on the ground and the last person to leave. I also design my clothes. If a person like me can stay at home for so many years, you all can stay at home for a few months too, right? Nowadays, people have so many things to do indoors. Everyone has become a cook during this lockdown, experimenting with a lot of cuisines. Board games, online courses, focus on meditation and health, et al, are also things people are enjoying.
I keep motivating people, but last November I needed motivation myself. I suffered a lot of health issues, typhoid, bacterial infection in the stomach and so on. I had become homebound and depressed. I was on mild doses which would make me feel better, and not drowsy. Shopping is a great stress-buster, so I would indulge in online shopping, reading inspirational quotes, watching inspirational videos, and encouraging myself to get out of that state of mind. I believe in the power of manifestation, of asking for something with all our heart and seeing it manifest into reality.