“It was exactly 10:15 pm on March 3, 2021, when laying on the hospital bed, I was told that I wouldn’t make it through the night. I distinctly remember the solemn timbre of the doctor’s quivering voice as he delivered the news. I think I remember the time so precisely because I had just read the time through the broken glass shards of my watch which was still strapped onto my blood-smeared hands.
It was at that moment that I realized I had been in an accident. I heard whispers from the adjacent room that I had been struck down by my motorcycle and dragged with it for some time after the collision, resulting in my leg being torn apart completely from my foot and broken into what I recollect was 3 pieces. The memory of me looking down to see all but one bone sticking out while my whole leg was hanging loose on the other side was almost unbelievable.
“We can try operating, but she has already lost too much blood at this point” I heard a faint whisper behind the curtain. The tension in the air was palpable. “It might be a futile attempt to try to save her life, we can let her go in peace with sedation,” said another. “A complete amputation might work but we can’t guarantee anything since we’ve already lost a lot of time”, a deep voice of a senior surgeon suggested.
On this side of the curtain, I wasn’t ready to leave just yet. After all, I was just 23 and I had my whole life ahead of me, or so I thought at the time. Everything I heard that day pointed to my imminent and inescapable death. Nothing I heard gave me even the slightest hope of being able to survive through the night, let alone the next week. Despite the grim reaper playing footloose on the headboard of my hospital bed, I decided with a firm and unshakable resolve to try to survive, at least till my family got there.
A year and a half later, I’m sharing my story in hopes to inspire people who find themselves or their loved ones in a predicament that seems absolutely morbid and inescapable.
Mine is a story of hope. Hope is a beautiful thing, a ray of light in an overcast sky, the flickering light of a candle in a dark room, the sudden feeling of a humid sweat in a dreary desert. I did manage to survive though, after what seemed like a decade of living in the hospital.
I survived several three to six-hour long surgical procedures, I survived the kind of excruciating pain you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, the routine examinations, more procedures, being told I only have a bleak chance of survival through the procedure, more examinations, and uncountable needles on every part of my body.(I cannot now fathom from where I got the courage to give written examinations of the last semester for my master’s degree from the hospital bed!)
For someone who felt a sense of pride and joy in being physically healthy, running marathons, and just being really active in general, being told you’ll never walk again can be soul-crushing.
I’ve heard the diagnosis from physicians telling me that I’ll be paraplegic for the rest of my life on multiple occasions. But you see by then, I was just so happy to be alive that nothing anyone said or did ever doused my spirit, despite the excruciating pain I was always in and the fact that I couldn’t even urinate without the physical help of two others people holding me upright.
When you’re given the chance that I was given you see, to just LIVE, you wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world. I was given an opportunity that not very many people get in their lives. It was definitely an opportunity for a lifetime- to live my life all over again.
And I did. I re-lived my life completely from then- I immersed myself in informative and uplifting books and audio programs, I meditated, I reached out to people who I thought could help me, and I did not complain once of my negative circumstances and completely surrendered the outcome even as I welched and wailed in agonizing pain. And I do believe that the latter is what helped me heal along with an absolute and unshakable knowing that I can make it through.
From then to now – during my healing, I have gone on to walk 3 km first with physical support then without, and I’m slowly starting to increase my physical activity with training exercises that are advised for me. At first, my physician couldn’t believe that I could walk, let alone at a fast pace and without a noticeable limp. It still amuses him and he attributes my success to my positive attitude and willpower, but I attribute it to my unshakeable belief in healing and complete surrender. Now I live each day as if it were a gift, because it most certainly is, and I am grateful for everything in my life. I can stand on both feet for 15-20 minutes now, even though it’s still very painful.
I am now also a part of a movement for disability rights, and soon I plan to start an organization for anyone on this difficult path who needs support. This organization will help build faith in healing and support people who find themselves in hospital beds holding on to dear life. Faith can move mountains, it was rightly said. When I was in the hospital for all that time, I really wanted to talk to people who have been through it all, telling me that I could make it through. The kind of hope and faith in healing this small gesture can instill is unbelievable. This dream is still unfolding for me, but I’ve learned through the veil of death that anything is possible with a strong intention, patience, and a willingness to survive the storm. In closing, I’d like to ask what you would do differently if you were faced with imminent death. Take a moment to really think about it. I’ve come to realize that all our lives we wish and wish for our lives to be different – more expansive, more fun, more abundant, more exhilarating, and more joyous. But what we fail to realize is our life already is everything we are wishing for. We fail to recognize the treasure chest that’s right in front of our very eyes.
They say that you only realize the value of something when it’s taken away- but if you think about it – we will never then realize the worth and value of our lives, because once it gets taken away- we’re gone forever. Rare is the opportunity to re-live our life knowing its worth. So I endeavor to reach out and spread the message of life, hope, and of possibility in this arduous world of pain, hurt, and struggle. This is my hope for the future and I am very hopeful of its materialization very soon.”