Pune: Soldiers’ Triumph of Spirit – International Spinal Cord Injury Day At Military Hospital Khadki

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Range Hills, 5th September 2023: The Spinal Cord Injury Centre Military Hospital (MH) Khadki celebrated the International Spinal Cord Injury Day 2023 today honouring the achievements of soldiers who have transcended disability and won a rich haul of medals in International Para-Olympic games.

Almost 200 paraplegics, quadriplegics, and tetraplegics with their loving families were enthralled by the stories of triumph of human spirit narrated by Lt Col Sahil Gautam and Hav Gopal Singh. The audience was left spellbound with the stories fondly narrated by them from their being bed bound and helpless to becoming high performance para-athletes. The residents of Paraplegic Rehab Centre also put up a musical event which was appreciated by one and all.

Dr Surpreet Chopra a successful Cardiothoracic Surgeon and a celebrated TED Speaker delivered a talk on how to rise like a phoenix from despair and injury and achieve what you aspire for. The chief guest Maj Gen Hridesh Sahni, MG Med HQ Southern Command addressed the patients re-emphasising the need to let bygones be bygones in order to find new meaning in life. The Second Edition of Saksham – a compilation of stories, poems and artwork done by the patients and their caregivers was also released.

The guest of honour, Shri Sanjay Ramchandra Kadam, Deputy Commissioner, Disability Welfare Directorate, Govt of Maharashtra congratulated all the spinal cord injury patients on their heroic feats and emphasised the need for more awareness drives for persons with disability and inclusiveness within the society.

The theme of this year’s World Spinal cord injury day in accordance with International Spinal Cord Society is “Access to SCI Services – A life Less Complicated” and to create awareness in the society and able bodied individuals, various events were organised during the entire week to mark the day. A mouth painting exhibition to exhibit the talent of paralysed soldiers of Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre and MH Khadki. Another unique event to further strengthen their grit and recovery was in the form of ‘Nrityopchar’ – dance therapy for the paralysed by the renowned dance group of Smt Suchitra Date. A glimpse of these brave hearts’ triumph over their injuries was displayed during the wheelchair basketball match on the eve of Spinal cord injury day.

The Spinal Cord Injury Centre at MH Khadki has a long and illustrious history. Many soldiers sustain life changing spinal cord injuries in the line of duty. The path to recovery is long and arduous. The Indian Armed Forces looks after its own, both in war and Peace. Soldiers with spinal cord injuries are nursed back to health and rehabilitated at the Spinal Cord Injury Centre at Military Hospital Khadki in Pune. The process is painful and frustrating both for the injured and for the team caring for him. But perseverance pays off, albeit slowly. Dedicated Clinicians, Nursing Staff, Rehabilitation experts work round the clock in this state-of-the-art centre to bring hope and new meaning to the lives of post trauma paraplegics. The Centre at Military Hospital Khadki strives to provide rehabilitation and social reintegration sorely needed for such patients.

Talking to the residents of Spinal Cord Injury Centre, reveals their strength of character. Life dealt them an unfortunate hand leading to life changing spine injuries in the line of duty. But with help of the dedicated spinal cord injury team at Military Hospital Khadki & the support of family and friends they have achieved superhuman feats that even able-bodied individuals would struggle to do.

The centre was a vision of the late Air Marshal AS Chahal who modelled it after the famed Stoke Mandeville Centre in UK.

The celebration of Spinal Cord Injury Day every year at the Spinal Cord Injury Centre at Military Hospital Khadki reiterates the Armed Forces Commitment to its heroes. Be it in health or disease we stand firmly behind our soldiers and their families.

The event was organised in association of Pune Orthopaedic Society (pos)  and represented by Dr Yogesh Khandalkar, secretary of POS.