For a 12-year-old summer vacations are an annual ritual. We visit our grandparent's home, meet our cousins and play house games. Paulami Patel in 2001 went on to spend his summer ritual of vacations at her paternal uncle’s home in Hyderabad. One fine evening the 12-year-old Paulami and her cousin decided to play fishing on the second.
The girls created the whole setup for a fake fishing game. They tied a utensil to the rod as bait and hung it outside from the second floor. The fake bait slipped off her hand and got entangled with a wire. Paulami thought that it was cloth hanging wire so she caught hold of the bait. But, it was a live wire! It was an 11,000-volt wire. The current got more intensified as her body touched a steel chair for few seconds.
Paulami was screaming in pain and soon blacked out. It was only when the power went off that her body was thrown back. She was severely bleeding, her clothes were all burned, and immediately she was rushed to the hospital. Seeing their sixth-grade daughter in such a condition Paulami’s parents were in shock and were in denial.
In conversation with The Better India Paulami remembers the incident, “the doctors thought that it was a miracle I survived as in most of the cases the patient dies on the spot. The current had traveled my right hand and left foot. While my right hand was severely damaged my left foot had no skin, muscles, or tissues left. I lay naked for a week in the burns ward. When the gangrene in my right hand begun to spread the doctors was flown for a second opinion” and then my right hand was amputated.”
Paulami was shifted to Mumbai after that and then stayed at hospital beds for almost 8 months. For a 12-year-old it is the worst nightmare to go through. To live a life so helpless without meeting your friends and spending the childhood days requires real motivation.
The brave parents of this extraordinary girl were so supportive all this while. They even told all their relatives who used to visit her that they should crack jokes when they meet her and in reverse Paulami will tell a joke. That’s how this little girl managed 8 months on a bed in Mumbai’s Breach candy hospital.
She lost a whole academic year in her school but her principal and teachers turned out to be so helpful. They provided her with written notes so that she can cope up with the loss. Slowly and gradually she practiced writing with his fake right hand. Paulami struggled a lot while setting up with the fake hand as it is a bit heavy and her right hand had already lost too much muscle.
After all these years of struggle Paulami now drives writes, and also skydives. It would have been easy for her to just let go and shut down from everything. However, her parents did not allow her to lose, they always kept motivating her. This girl tried her best to take one step ahead each day. And now, she is a happy mother of a beautiful daughter.
Despite all the struggle this girl never gave up and took the rope of her life into her own hands. She refused to stay on others' shoulders forever. She wanted to be independent and stay motivated for all those who have had such life-altering accidents in life.