Mumbai: 22-year-old ready to get back on her feet after train accident

Updated: Dec 08, 2016, 12:11 IST | Faisal Tandel

About 1.5 months after she lost her legs in the mishap, Pune girl Sayali Dhamdhere dreams of walking on prosthetics and fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming an IAS officer

Sayali Dhamdhere left the hospital in a wheelchair, but is confident that she will soon get back on her feet with the help of prosthetics. Pic/Sameer Markande
Sayali Dhamdhere left the hospital in a wheelchair, but is confident that she will soon get back on her feet with the help of prosthetics. Pic/Sameer Markande

When Sayali Dhamdhere lost her legs in a terrible train mishap a little over a month ago, she thought her dreams of becoming an IAS officer were dashed. Yesterday, however, the 22-year-old was all smiles as she finally left the hospital, determined to get back on her feet once again.

Even as her family arranges for prosthetics to allow her to stand and walk again, Sayali has also rekindled her childhood dream of a career in civil services, for which she had come to Mumbai in October. mid-day had reported on the accident that took place on October 20, in which the Pune girl slipped off a crowded train and fell right into the gap between the footboard and the platform.

Inspired by other victims
“In the early days, I was terribly depressed about losing my legs, but I have managed to put almost all of it behind me now. I met other victims who don’t have hands or legs but are still living full lives. One of them was a man who had lost both his legs, but he was riding a Bullet. The inspiration and motivation I got from them was amazing,” she said.

After spending 48 days in recovery at Jupiter Hospital, Sayali had an emotional farewell, as she met all the staffers and also wrote to the hospital owner Ajay Thakker, thanking them all for treating and supporting her.

Now, she just has her sights trained on the future. “Next year, I will appear for the IAS exams, and until then, I will keep preparing. I will achieve my dream and prove to my parents that I can do it and make them proud,” added Sayali, who will stay with relatives in Murbad for 10 days before a final check-up, after which she can go home to Pune.

Stressful period
Her father, Sanjay (54) is glad that she has recovered so swiftly but recounted how much stress the family went through.

Sayali spent 26 days in the ICU and went through eight surgeries. The total cost of the treatment came up to Rs 24.5 lakh, but Sanjay, who is a teacher, just didn’t have the resources to cover the expenses. After mid-day’s report on their plight, however, there was an outpour of help from as far as Saudi Arabia and the US, and the family received donations amounting to Rs 18 lakh.

“The first two days after the accident were dark. I didn’t know what to do and had no idea how to gather the funds for the treatment, but all the help from the media and donors made me feel like God was helping my daughter,” he recalled.

“For almost a month, I had sleepless nights, but survived because of hope and the support we got from others. Now, I have assured Sayali that we will make her stand on her own with the help of the Jaipur foot,” he added.

Sayali’s mother, Pramodini, said, “I am happy that she is back. We will fight to ensure that she achieves her dream.”

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