Life before SCI
Hi, my name is Shaiq and I am from Kashmir. I was pursuing my Law degree from Kashmir University when I had this accident which completely changed my life. From childhood, I was very much interested in wildlife. I used to watch the discovery channel and animal planet all the time. I was fascinated by wild animals especially snakes. And as I grew up and entered my 20s, I became passionate about photography very much. I got myself a new phone and used to click everything. I used to show my photos to my friends and family and they were surprised. I was getting very good at it and was thinking of pursuing a career in Journalism. I applied for the course and their entrance examinations were to be held in May 2016. So it was April 16th, 2016, I went with my 2 friends to a hill where snakes are common (in Kashmir snakes are nonpoisonous). We saw a snake but it went into a crack on the edge of the cliff. I took a branch and I wanted to bring it to the plain ground so that we can take photos of it. As soon as I put my foot on the edge of a cliff, I slipped and I found myself rolling and thudding on the rocks. I fell into a gorge 150-200 feet deep. I was unconscious for about half an hour, woke up, and could see with only one eye. I touched my legs and felt nothing. My friend was there asking me if I am okay and telling me to get up. I told him that I think I have injured my spinal cord. He called my cousin and they rescued me from there and took me to the hospital. A lot of tests were done and Doctor said that I won't be able to sit or walk. It left me shattered.
Life after SCI
I was airlifted to Delhi where the surgery was done from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm on 19th April 2016. After gaining my consciousness, my back hurt a lot. I wasn't able to move or turn my body. Everything seemed messed up. I was continuously crying. My body was paralyzed below the chest. I couldn't move my legs. I wasn't able to do anything. I felt so helpless. When I was discharged from the hospital, my physiotherapy sessions started. At first, it was like torture. My eyes were blacked out every time I tried to do some exercise. I used to think with myself about the future, how my life was and how completely it changed. I was completely dependent on others. But with time, things started to get a little easy. I learned to shift from wheelchair to bed and vice versa, from bed to floor and back to bed. With time, I adapted to things. I trained my mind to see positivity in everything. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I believe that u are capable of overcoming the darkest of times with the right mindset. I feel blessed to be alive and to be with my family giving me unconditional love and support. I am a Muslim and in Islam, it is said that with every hardship comes ease. We have to face the hardships with patience and prayer and God willing things will fall into the right place at the right time. It's okay to break down sometimes, it is human nature but what matters is the will to never giving up. Things could have gone worse. What matters is how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. A true warrior never gives up. It is life - a mixture of rainbows and rain. If you get knocked down, roll over and admire the sky. The main thing is to live life positively.