KOCHI: A fighter never says never. They take adversities by the horns and storm ahead. One such braveheart is 25-year-old Dr Mariya Biju, who despite being confined to a wheelchair after being paralysed following an accident, completed her MBBS degree and joined her alma mater as a house surgeon on February 1. Happiness was writ large on Dr Mariya’s face when she joined the MBBS course at Al-Azhar Medical College at Thodupuzha in 2015.
“It was a very happy occasion for me,” she said. However, tragedy struck on June 5, 2016, when she slipped on the wet balcony floor while trying to hang clothes on the clothesline at the medical college hostel and fell from the second floor to the ground. “The first year model examinations were on,” she said.
“In the fall, I broke the vertebra in my neck and the thigh bone,” she said. The accident left her paralysed from the neck down. “I was given first aid at Kozhenchery hospital and then shifted to Amrita Hospital, where I underwent surgery,” she said. This was followed by four months of rehabilitation therapy at Vellore CMC. “After spending months in the hospital, I returned to college,” she said.
According to her, the months that followed were a struggle. “My major concern was to regain the sensation in my fingers. I underwent a series of physiotherapy for the same as I wanted to write my examinations,” said Mariya. “Even though the university allowed me to write the examinations with the help of a scribe, it couldn’t be done. We would have needed another medical student to act as a scribe. So, I began reteaching myself to write,” she said.
Mariya eventually succeeded in writing the examination by herself. “I made it through with the help of my friends and teachers. My friends would come over and repeat the lessons that were taught each day,” she said. Mariya passed the final examination with 64 per cent marks.However, the accident has cast a shadow on her dream of becoming a surgeon. “I wanted to be a surgeon. However, one needs deft and nimble fingers for the same. And sadly, I don’t have that now. Currently, I’m researching my options for MD,” said the young doctor who also was a very good athlete in her school days.
“Today, my sporting activities are confined to badminton and table tennis,” she said. “I used to sketch a lot. After the accident, I had some time on my hands while recuperating. I used technology to return to art,” she said.
“Now I get orders for sketches and paintings. The rates start from Rs 1,000 onwards,” said Dr Mariya who also dreams of travelling to different places alone. “However, the transportation facilities in our state are not disabled-friendly,” said the braveheart who took up the issue with the KSRTC MD. “He assured that steps will be initiated to rectify this,” she added.