Family support and proper counselling is a must to overcome the trauma after meeting with an accident and to lead a near-normal life through physiotherapy exercises, says S. Suryaprakash Rao, Professor of ENT and head of ENT unit at Government ENT Hospital.
A popular personality in the city as a body-builder, Dr. Rao was adjudged Mr. Visakha in 1987-88 for his physique. While going to work on an urgent work, his car had a head-on collision with a bus in the city in August 2001. His upper limbs developed weakness and the lower were paralysed.
He had two operations in Visakhapatnam and Mumbai and training at ISI Centre, Delhi, for physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
“I was back to work after one and a half years with a wheelchair due to my confidence level, support of my wife and colleagues. For anyone meeting with a major accident making him immobile, proper motivation to instil confidence in him is very important,” Dr. Rao told The Hindu .
He uses a powered wheelchair and made some modification to a Maruti van with a ramp to take him to the hospital and other places comfortably.
Dr. Rao said at the time of the accident, he did not use the seat belt which could have minimised the impact of the collision. “I think I was also under stress,” he said.
He called for aggressive campaign against rash driving, absent-mindedness, driving under stress, alcohol consumption and without wearing the seat belt. Better road sense should be inculcated among people. Licence system should also be streamlined by the RTA authorities.
Dr. Rao not only conducts national and international ENT training workshops but also offers counselling and training to patients with spinal cord injuries. He is president of The Ability People, an NGO, which is setting up training and rehabilitation centres for spinal cord injured in association with GVMC.