Inspiration comes in different forms, sometimes through phenomenal work, and sometimes through example. For Aitijya Sarkar, it was his sister and her story that got him to believe in fighting the odds. He recently took to Quora to answer the question, “Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met or seen, real or fictional?”
At the age of 16, Aitijya’s sister fell from a height of four storeys and was badly injured. As he writes about the incident on Quora, he says that when you fall from such a height, it is most often the shock of the fall that kills you, before your body even has time to register the impact.
“A broken spine, a ruptured one that is torn and shredded is what is finally seen, and most have two gruesome fates, which is either death or paralysis.”
However, the fall his sister had shocked everyone. “My Didi was awake through the fall. She fell on her legs.”
The doctors told the family that this was the only reason she had survived. However, she did not escape completely uninjured. Her right leg bore the impact and was torn to shreds, says Aitijya. The right foot had a piece fall off and bloodstained hospital sheets are what he recounts nightmarishly.
A Journey of Painful Recovery
The doctors warned the family that the surgery was a critically complex one as the bone fragments could rupture the girl’s blood vessels. They estimated a fragile 10 percent survival rate, asking the family to not hold on to hopes of her ever walking again.
After two years in the hospital, missing her 12th board exams, giving the exams the following year on a stretcher, and many hardships later, Aitijya’s sister conquered every curveball that life had thrown at her, by scoring a stunning 92 in Physics Boards and a 94 in Maths.
The school awarded her the Exceptional Student Award, along with gifting her a mobile phone and a certificate for her commendable feat. Today, she has two degrees to boast of, one in physics and the other in Hotel Management, and is in the course of doing an MBA.
The girl who doctors claimed would never walk again, is now self-sufficient, living away from home and working for a subsidiary of Google.
“Inspiration?” asks Aitijya, addressing the question that was asked on Quora. “This word doesn’t even begin to explain what I feel when I look at her. She’s a living, breathing miracle.”