Nivran is from Mukerian, a city in the Northern part of India and I am from Nagpur, a city in Central India. There are two things which we have in common. Both of us have a cervical spinal cord injury resulting in quadriplegia. And we happened to work with the same jovial and resourceful physiotherapist, Dr. Vaibhav Talwar, when undergoing rehabilitation. Thanks to him I got introduced to Nivran and we have been Facebook buddies. From a distance I have seen Nivran participate in international para sports and that has inspired me to look for similar opportunities for myself. I am happy to bring you her story of getting back to life after a spinal cord injury.
Nivran Pama’s #LifeBeyondSCI
Nivran in Dubai for the international para athletics – Boccia championship
I am from Mukerian (Punjab). My father is in a State government job. My mother worked as a teacher before my accident. Now she’s a housewife and doubles up as my 24*7 partner. I have a younger brother. I have studied in a boarding school from my 1st to 8th class. This upbringing made me a very independent person who likes to do her work by herself. I had my own small world which included family, friends and relatives. Just in my own safe space. It was fun and satisfactory.
Nivran with friends
I was in my first year of college in 2015. I used to live in the college hostel in Chandigarh and decided to go home for the weekend. When we were on the highway, somewhere between Garhshankar and Nawansher, the Volvo bus in which I was travelling crashed into a tree. This accident turned fatal for many. Initially even I was considered dead as I was unconscious and placed with the deceased.
But then I opened my eyes for a while and the local people who had stopped by to help noticed me. A girl came up to me and asked for a contact number whom she could reach out to inform about me. I gave her my mother’s number and just said mumma on the phone and I was unconscious again. She kept waking me up and took me to the local civil hospital where there was already a rush due to the accident. The doctors examined me and they knew I had spinal cord injury but they told the girl to take me somewhere else. I was shifted to the second hospital without any neck support, but there too I just got first aid, no neurosurgeon to see me.
Later my parents arrived and I was transferred to the 3rd hospital – again without the neck support and the broken road made things worse. There I had my tests done like MRI’s and CT scans but they weren’t telling anything to my parents. My mom got frustrated and confronted the doctors. Only then they explained everything but the hospital didn’t have much facilities required for my surgery. Only after my relatives came to know of the accident and my cousin suggested they bring me to Max Hospital in Mohali. That’s where I had my surgery and I was admitted for 1 and half months.
Initially we didn’t know much about rehabilitation, so a therapist would come at home for basic limb movements and wheelchair sitting practices. Later on my family shifted to Jalandhar because we found a therapist at Saini Physiotherapy Center. They helped me alot to regain my body from the shock and I was able to sit in a wheelchair for a while longer now. Once I went to a seminar for spinal cord injury patients where I was exposed to many other patients and therapists. There my parents met with Dr. Vaibhav Talwar and his team from AADYA PHYSIO CARE. He convinced my parents to try out delhi for the rehabilitation treatment. We moved to Delhi for 3 years and they helped me a lot to restore my movements and even took us for social gatherings, watching movies and parties. I started opening up more and going out, traveling. So overall I would say there are many other who have helped me in my journey like family, friends, relatives and some strangers too. But mainly I would mention my mother, my best friend Gurjeet and my doctors and therapist.
Nivran with her mother
Life beyond spinal cord injury
There have been ups and downs but as they say life must go on. So I’m still living with a smile on my face. Life has evolved after injury – I have completed my graduation recently and now I am planning to study for an MBA. I am into para games BOCCIA, for which I went to Dubai in December 2019 and represented India. It was a pretty nice experience for me because I was never interested in sports before injury but after injury got a chance to represent the country. So all in all I can say that I am blessed to be alive and moving forward instead of being confined to a particular place.
I love to travel and see different places. After the spinal cord injury I initially thought ‘how will I go out!’, but my parents took me to different places. Dubai has been a memorable trip because it was my first international trip ever. Plus even after injury I was getting to represent the country. My mother was my travel partner and we enjoyed it alot. In the future I would also like to go to many places. It’s a long list but on the top is Cappadocia (Turkey). I am just fascinated by the hot air balloons scene.
Message for people who are newly injured
Just hold on there for a while. It is a tough journey but it’s not impossible to overcome. Acceptance is the main point. The day you accept your injury is the day you will be able to live a bit stress free. Don’t believe in superstitions and let people say whatever they want to. All that matters is that you are alive and breathing, so live life the same way you always wanted to. Go out and live your life.