Post Spinal Injury, Wheelchair Bound Laborer Plays National Level Basket Ball

A daily wage laborer Anil Kumar survived a three-storey fall with broken spine and loss of control in lower limbs(LEGS). Post-injury at the Indian Spinal Injuries Center, unfazed by the crippling limitations, he bounced back in life by participating in the Wheelchair Basketball competition at National Level.

Delhi January 23rd , 2018.Anil Kumar’s world came crashing down after he suffered a serious spinal injuryafter he fell from third storey at work. Repairing an electric connection, thedaily wage laborer, (Aged 26 years) suffered an electric shock from a livewire, lost his balance and fell down. As a result, he sustained a severe injuryto his spine, crippling him from waist down.

Anil’s wife and family had lost all hope afterrealizing the extent of damage. Being expectant of their first child then, hiswife was specially affected by the sudden misadventure faced by the family.Their search for treatment brought them to Indian Spinal Injuries Center, whereAnil’s treatment was finally undertaken under Dr Gururaj Sangondimath,Consultant spine surgeon and Unit Chief, Indian Spinal InjuriesCenter,

“When Anil came to us, his spine was broken, and onevertebra completely pressed on to another vertebra, leading to complete loss ofpower in both legs and lost his control on urine and stool. He was admitted assoon as he reached ISIC, and after evaluating all parameters, a major surgerywas conducted by afternoon on the same day. After the successful surgery, hestayed for rehabilitative care for 20 days when he underwent several therapies,enabling him to be gain life-skills despite being  bound on wheelchair.”,said Dr. Gururaj,

Anil’s consultation with ISIC continued for more daysas an OPD patient for prolonged rehabilitative care. With the help of various therapiesand strong determination, he was able to be self-dependent, by learning to doall his activities of daily living. Anil’s strong determination and mentalstrength did not only help him recover from the injury and face the shock, hewent on to participate in Wheelchair Basketball competition at national level.Today, he follows his passion, is able to take care of himself, as well as hasbecome a contributing father.

“I am thankful to Dr. Gururaj and his team atIndian Spinal Injuries Center, as it is because of their efforts my life haschanged for the better. After the injury even getting-up was unimaginable, butdue to the constant support and rehabilitative care at the hospital, today I amself-dependent and can perform most tasks all by myself. I am able to become asupportive and contributing member of my family rather than being a liability,”the patient, Anil Kumar, expressed. 

Poor safety standards across industries and especiallyin the unorganized sector are a major concern causing severe injuries to manypeople all over the country. An estimated 48000 fatalities occurred in Indiadue to negligence and unsafe working environment. With a workforce of over 1.25billion, lapse in safety standards is a major cause for concern.

Highlightingthe role of negligence as main factor causing spinal injuries, Dr.H. S. Chhabra, Medical Director & Chief of Spine Services at IndianSpinal Injuries Centre, said “Humannegligence and ignored infrastructure are becoming key factors causing fallsand slips which lead to severe injuries. Vehicular accidents and speciallythose involving two-wheelers accounts for a majority of spinal injuries. Unfortunately,shortage of quality rehabilitation services and lack of focus on re-instillingconfidence among patients make reintegration of patients a major challenge inIndia. This is the gap which we at ISIC try to fill in not only conducting highrisk surgeries successfully but also bringing back patients to active lifethrough aggressive rehabilitation.”

For patients such as Anil, a supporting family,advanced therapies, and strong encouraging framework are major factors helpingthem to bounce back to life. Comprehensive rehabilitation remains the key torecovery of a spinal injury patient and there is increasing need to put greaterthrust on these aspects to help patients get back to fruitful work lives.

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