Speeding Sumo brings standstill in her life
A post graduate in humanities, she was heading towards her office when a speeding Tata Sumo collided with her car earlier this year. Since then she is in a 'vegetative state' trying to recapitulate the ABC’s of life with damaged brain and skull half open as she remains confined at her caring City home
Sumaira (name changed), a young woman in early 30’s, is trying hard to recapitulate ABC as her brother and other family members try to teach this post graduate, the building blocks of literacy. She tries hard but can’t express herself, can’t even speak properly either. In fact she can’t even walk properly. She sits calmly lowering her gaze. On asking about the depression in her head one comes to know that half the skull is nowhere. Her headgear Hijab seems to be only protection to her uncovered brain.
THE FATEFUL DAY
This wasn’t her life till January 19, 2011 when she left home for work in her car. She was all normal, doing her work while family was busy looking for a match for this woman of marriageable age. She was scheduled to get married within a year or so. But on the fateful day, everything changed when a speeding Sumo(JK13 7721) driving allegedly on the wrong side collided head on with her car. The victim was heading towards her Pulwama office when the speeding cab while overtaking some passenger bus crushed her car to wreckage.
Sumaira was badly wounded. The skull bones had pierced into her brain. She was in coma when rushed to SK Institute of Medical Sciences Soura. The doctors treating her said she was immediately operated upon. “She suffered severe fronto-parietal confusions of brain. The side of it (brain), which is dominant was knocked off and turned into liquid,” recaps a surgeon. “In common man’s language we removed the broken skull pieces,” he adds.
But then recovery wasn’t easy. Everyday she was to be given medicines worth over Rs 5000. This continued for weeks together.
Luckily belonging to a well off family, her costly medical treatment was managed by them.
“Even though we managed her medical treatment, what about the poor people who must be coming across similar situations almost everyday and don’t have requisite resources,” argues her brother, a prominent medico.
Her parents can’t do much. Wrinkles on the face of Sumaira’s parents, 87 –year-old father and septuagenarian mother are enough to convey that the duo is too old to take care of their daughter. So it’s mostly her brother and other family members who look after the young patient.
But some nine months on, she isn’t even able to express herself. “Though she can move around a bit, she lives the life of a dead,” adds her brother.
LICENCE TO KILL?
But how did the accident happen? As per witnesses, he says, the speeding Tata Sumo while overtaking a passenger bus collided with Sumaira’s car.
The accused, as per the victim’s family, managed playing tricky to get out of the police clutches.
“The accused didn’t have a driving license but managed replacing himself with one authorized to drive,” the brother adds. The license holder accused was released on bail.
“You kill someone yet it’s bailable… Does holding a driving license mean one has got the license to kill?” he asks adding “In an attempt to murder one could face imprisonment for years. But here a life is spoiled and accused enjoy impunity.”
The speediness of the investigations into the matter could be gauged from the fact that it took police some four months to file the Challan.
“Police had a strange argument that the victim didn’t recognize the accused. How can a person with damaged brain do it?” the family argues. The case may take years of trial and by that time the witnesses could go hostile, they fear.
As about Sumaira, damage to her skull is quite visible from her Hijab which unlike the routine bends steep towards the left half of her head.
The neurosurgeons say the patient could live a “close to normal life” only if the other side of her brain picks up and compensates for the damaged other half. Thereafter a cosmetic surgery could provide her with an artificial skull on the damaged portion.
But then the chances of the brain regain are bleak. “The other side may pickup. But it may take years or may not pick up at all,” a surgeon who recently went through the case says.
As for Sumaira, her family is trying to make her learn ABC. In the meantime she is introduced to this reporter. For the first few minutes, she is unable to understand my job. But then after repeatedly reminding her of newspapers, she smiles and whispers something in her brother’s ear. “She doesn’t want the news to come in newspaper… May be she fears it could stigmatize her life,” says the medico brother.
Such apprehensions have already been in the family. “We were looking for a match to get her married but then that deadly Sumo came her way,” the family says.
“May be she someday gets well… That time the trauma she has undergone can hinder her marriage prospects.”
The hope of getting well is what prompts the family make Sumaira learn the English alphabets. But then the chances of recovery are bleak and she can’t be forced to learn more. The woman is given neuro medicines, which make her sleep more. Or else, medicos say, she my get fits and that could obviously prove worst for a person with damaged, uncovered brain.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 18 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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