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.
Anil Kumar’s world came crashing down after he suffered a serious spinal injury after he fell from third storey at work. Repairing an electric connection, the daily wage laborer, (Aged 26 years) suffered an electric shock from a live wire, lost his balance and fell down. As a result, he sustained a severe injury to his spine, crippling him from waist down.
Anil’s wife and family had lost all hope after realizing the extent of damage. Being expectant of their first child then, his wife was specially affected by the sudden misadventure faced by the family. Their search for treatment brought them to Indian Spinal Injuries Center, where Anil’s treatment was finally undertaken under Dr Gururaj Sangondimath, Consultant spine surgeon and Unit Chief, Indian Spinal Injuries Center,
“When Anil came to us, his spine was broken, and one vertebra completely pressed on to another vertebra, leading to complete loss of power in both legs and lost his control on urine and stool. He was admitted as soon as he reached ISIC, and after evaluating all parameters, a major surgery was conducted by afternoon on the same day. After the successful surgery, he stayed 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 days as an OPD patient for prolonged rehabilitative care. With the help of various therapies and strong determination, he was able to be self-dependent, by learning to do all his activities of daily living. Anil’s strong determination and mental strength did not only help him recover from the injury and face the shock, he went 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 has become a contributing father.
“I am thankful to Dr. Gururaj and his team at Indian Spinal Injuries Center, as it is because of their efforts my life has changed for the better. After the injury even getting-up was unimaginable, but due to the constant support and rehabilitative care at the hospital, today I am self-dependent and can perform most tasks all by myself. I am able to become a supportive and contributing member of my family rather than being a liability,” the patient, Anil Kumar, expressed.
Poor safety standards across industries and especially in the unorganized sector are a major concern causing severe injuries to many people all over the country. An estimated 48000 fatalities occurred in India due to negligence and unsafe working environment. With a workforce of over 1.25 billion, lapse in safety standards is a major cause for concern.
Highlighting the role of negligence as main factor causing spinal injuries, Dr. H. S. Chhabra, Medical Director & Chief of Spine Services at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, said “Human negligence and ignored infrastructure are becoming key factors causing falls and slips which lead to severe injuries. Vehicular accidents and specially those involving two-wheelers accounts for a majority of spinal injuries. Unfortunately, shortage of quality rehabilitation services and lack of focus on re-instilling confidence among patients make reintegration of patients a major challenge in India. This is the gap which we at ISIC try to fill in not only conducting high risk surgeries successfully but also bringing back patients to active life through aggressive rehabilitation.”
For patients such as Anil, a supporting family, advanced therapies, and strong encouraging framework are major factors helping them to bounce back to life. Comprehensive rehabilitation remains the key to recovery of a spinal injury patient and there is increasing need to put greater thrust on these aspects to help patients get back to fruitful work lives.