Yogesh Gowda, the 28-year-old golf coach who is battling for life at a hospital in Hyderabad, had just recovered from a bout of jaundice when he boarded the bus that went up in flames on the Bangalore–Hyderabad highway on October 30.

He managed to escape but suffered 45 to 50 per cent burns in the accident.

A resident of Chikkabanavara in the city, Mr. Gowda was employed as a coach at the Hyderabad Golf Club.

“He spent a week at home after he came down with jaundice. We nursed him back to health and saw him off at the bus stop, only to learn a few hours later that he was once again in hospital,” said Thimme Gowda, his brother.

Mr. Thimme Gowda, also a golf coach in Bangalore, said his brother spoke on Friday for the first time since the accident.

However, doctors at the DRDO Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad told The Hindu that his vital parameters are being monitored constantly and his condition continues to be “critical”.

His family members seem confident that he will pull through. “After he spoke to us, we are sure he will be alright,” said Mr. Thimme Gowda, adding, “We only hope that he will be able to play golf again.”

According to Mr. Thimme Gowda, they come from a humble family. Both brothers started working as caddies when they were in their early teens.

“We worked our way up. Yogesh has passed the ‘C’ and ‘D’ certificate exams [for golf coaches] and he earns a decent salary now. Even when he was suffering from jaundice, he would repeatedly say that he would take the next level exam and get a better salary. We just hope that his injuries don’t come in the way of his dreams,” he said.

Four others stable

Four other survivors of the accident — Ayaz Pasha, Srikar, Rajesh and Mazhar Pasha — are at the same hospital and their condition is stable, doctors said.

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