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After Losing Both Her Arms & Legs, This Blade Runner’s Story Is Winning a Million Hearts

Shalini Saraswathi talks about how she refuses to bow down to adversity.

Shalini Saraswathi had just returned from vacation in Cambodia when she suddenly fell ill. What started off as a fever quickly developed into something far more serious and Shalini, who was also pregnant at the time, was suddenly the on the brink of death and dealing with multiple organ failures.

Months later she would lose both her arms and legs to a rare form of bacterial infection.

However, Shalini is the kind of woman who doesn’t accept defeat in the face of extreme adversity. Today, she is an avid runner (a blade runner) who has run in races including last year’s prestigious TCS 10k race in Bengaluru.

Shalini has opened up about her life in a post that has been published by the Facebook page, BeingYou. In a particularly moving passage, she talks about the frustration and anger she felt noting, “I raged. I was angry and hurt and upset. Why did this happen to me? What had I done wrong? I thought it was karma, but I couldn’t think of anything I had done *this* wrong. But finally, I decided it was time to move on.”


You may also like: No Hands and Legs, But This Incredible Woman Will Be Running the TCS 10K


Ultimately she says that she is defiant in leading a happy and fulfilling life, saying, “I can look back at Destiny and swear at how wrong it was about me. It didn’t win.I still get to call the shots. My life, my decisions, my dreams; limbs or no limbs.”

Within hours of the post having been published, it has garnered praise from all quarters, with many hailing Shalini for her indefatigable spirit.

When I arrived to have my legs amputated, I was wearing bright purple nail polish on my feet. Might as well go out in…

Posted by BeingYou on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Read the full text here:
When I arrived to have my legs amputated, I was wearing bright purple nail polish on my feet. Might as well go out in style, I figured. A month had passed since my right arm decided to auto-amputate, just dropping off into my brother-in-law’s hands. A few months before that, my left arm had been amputated as well. Now it was time to move on.
I had been a successful 32-year-old, doing well at work, happily married and newly pregnant. I was just back from a vacation in Cambodia and reveling in ticking one off the bucket list when I fell sick with a fever. It all began rather innocently. And then it escalated, and how. Fever became organ failure. Organ failure became a brush with death. Months later, I had lost both my arms and legs to a bacterial infection that the doctor had heard of only in his exam.
I raged. I was angry and hurt and upset. Why did this happen to me? What had I done wrong? I thought it was karma, but I couldn’t think of anything I had done *this* wrong. But finally, I decided it was time to move on.
And so I ran. In the beginning, it was just to lose weight and get fit, but the challenge was addictive. When I run, I feel like I win over my body. I can look back at Destiny and swear at how wrong it was about me. It didn’t win. I still get to call the shots. My life, my decisions, my dreams; limbs or no limbs.
Shalini Saraswathi
PC: G Kumaran

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