Where Hope Lives
“Doctor my daughter, Apoorva, has successfully completed her post-graduation,” I told a reputed neurologist. He congratulated us but looked perplexed since he didn’t recognize either me or my daughter. I then made him go back in time when he had diagnosed Apoorva of cerebral palsy; some cells on the left side of her brain were dead, therefore the damage was irreversible and couldn’t be undone.
He had very bluntly predicted that she would not be able to study; and, if she did, she wouldn’t go beyond the eighth grade. He was so confident then that he had given me a long sermon telling me to take it as the will of God and advised me to reconcile with the situation. Well, not only had she completed her schooling; she had gone on to do post-graduate work with good grades. I humbly requested him not to take away hope from people, as miracles can and do happen. Also, through hard work, self-belief, and love, everything is possible.
When he broke the news to me, I was heart-broken; seeing the expression on my daughter’s face, I felt even more dejected. It rained heavily that day and it looked as if the universe, too, shared our grief. We returned home and broke this news to my son, who was also very young then. The three of us huddled together for some time without speaking, as if trying to draw strength from one another. That night was a very long one; the doctor’s words kept haunting me. He had prescribed medication for Apoorva, which was a three-year course. Somehow, I was very uncomfortable and not ready to accept that she wouldn’t improve or couldn’t study further. I felt very strongly that we can change our destiny—including a medical diagnosis.
So, I thought to myself, “As it is the doctor, told me that Apoorva will remain in a cabbage state. Then why should I put a seal of finality with my own hands by drugging her with three years of medication? Let God handle this.” So I decided not to put her on any medication.
The morning, I woke her up for school, saying, “God helps those who help themselves. You are going to shine and do very well in life. We don’t have to give any energy to the doctor’s predictions. We both will work very hard and ask God to bless us with strength to do that.”
I still recall the cold, wintry morning of November 25, 1993, when my daughter was born. Horror of horrors, my umbilical cord was stuck around the baby’s neck and it was suffocating her, resulting in lack of oxygen supply; she started turning blue. The nurse had gone into a stupor; with much coaxing, she cut the cord and freed the baby. By then, the damage had been done.
As time passed, the feeling that there was something wrong with her started growing. Since she was not able to speak clearly and was not at all active, she was led to a speech therapist who recommended we remove her adenoid glands. Well, no visible difference. She developed a squint that became more pronounced day by day. Children made fun of her and avoided her, leaving her friendless at a very young age. She underwent another surgery for correction of the squint, but surgery was only for cosmetic purposes. She was neither able to judge distances nor gauge depths. I made her practice walking alone and made her climb steps, day in and day out. Now, she can climb stairs on her own.
The journey so far has been full of hard work and more hard work. I didn’t give up nor did I allow her to, either. She is the purpose of my life. She confirms my belief in God, love, and hard work. Whenever I feel low, I look up to her for hope and motivation. All I ask from the universe and God is to keep showering love and blessings on my angel, Apoorva. I know that miracles happen and grow in places where hope lives.
Previously Posted: www.latikateotia.com