Hemil Parikh- Getting stronger with every pain

September 27, 2018

It was 18th March 2009. As usual, I was rushing to my office and we all know the infamous local trains of Mumbai. On that day also, I was rushing to catch the train, and I ended up catching the luggage compartment, which does not have a support to hold in the centre of the door. I was standing comfortably inside the compartment. When the train started, a man came on the edge of the compartment and had held the middle of the area where the door slides. Due to some reason he shouted that “I am losing my grip”. So I pulled him from his shoulder and took him inside. I moved a bit so that he could be comfortable. While he was adjusting his bag, it hit me. I lost my support due to lesser grip in my right hand and my left leg and right hand came under the running train.

Due to heavy pressure of the train my body got thrown away and was saved because of the bridge which was made, for underlying Central railway line. Otherwise I would have be thrown on the central line and wouldn’t be alive. I waited for the train to leave and then tried to stand up, but was not able to because my left leg was crushed and the flesh was hanging. I was feeling very hot in my right hand. Then I realised that I had also lost some fingers. I took my mobile phone and called my father and sister. Describing them about the incident was the toughest part.

Mumbai is a city which is known for its helpful nature but no one came to help me. I had a strong belief in God and my parents and a miracle happened. A person came, lifted me and took me to the end of the bridge. He tied his handkerchief on my knee and told me to wait there. He rushed to the kings circle station and came back with the station master, a water bottle and a stretcher. While I was being taken to the kings circle station, I met my father, mother and sister. Putting me in the taxi was not possible, so I was kept on the carrier or roof of the taxi.

When I was a child, my father used to take me to an NGO named Sunday friends, to provide lunch on every Sundays to the street beggars and arranged a blood donation camp every year. Due to that, I was directly taken into the trauma room and my treatment was started, without any inquiry. I couldn’t be given anesthesia because I had breakfast in the morning.. So they first started cleaning the wound. The pain was unbearable, and I was continuously yelling. I cannot forget that pain while they were cutting the flesh muscles that were hanging down, and their cotton was touching my bone.

In that moment, I started imagining myself as a person I wanted to be, a cricketer. I was thinking that will I be able to bowl or not. In that imagination I forgot the pain. The operation started in the afternoon. I was not aware of my situation until midnight. When I got up, I was alone in the recovery room. I saw myself and cried a lot. I had never imagined myself like that. At the age of 22, I had lost the important body parts with which I had to run my house, wanted to be a cricketer and of course wanted to have a family. The big question that was worrying me was how would I play? It was a very difficult time for me and my family. My family did everything they could to make me happy but I could not come to terms with the reality.

I was shifted to Nanavati hospital, Khar West for better treatment under the best surgeon where I met Dr. Aditya Kaushik. I had to undergo an operation every alternate day and it took me almost 20 days in the hospital to recover fully. After my discharge from the hospital I had to go for regular dressings to my doctor for almost 3 months.

After my dressings, my doctor made me aware of Otto Bock. It was 6 June 2009 and my prosthesis was ready. After such a long time, I could walk again. My parents taught me to walk again with their support which made me remember my childhood. Gradually, I learnt to walk and balance.

I started training myself. Me and my father are crazy about cricket and he started training me again to play cricket. I remember, he told me to run 3 rounds in the ground. It was difficult at first and after the rounds the pain was unbearable as the stump was bleeding. I also remember my father’s words at that time- “This is the pain that makes you stronger”. And after such training I started playing cricket again. In a regular local match, my best has been 6-32 after bowling for 6 overs. I also climb our pilgrimage mountain in Palitana of almost 4000 steps for 3 continuous days every year. I have learnt multiple dance forms as well like MJ, garba and bollywood. Being a Gujrati, I play garba for all 9 days for almost 5-6 hours.

My goals in life are to play cricket for my country, to share a stage with my favourite dancer Hrithik Roshan and to climb Mt. Everest base camp.

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