Kerala man's life reshaped from near death
Twenty surgeries & over 400 stitches after a crippling accident, Rethin Krishna Raj is now a fitness freak, reports Anuja Susan Varghese
ERNAKULAM: Inform his loved ones... he will hardly last the next hour, doctors declared when Rethin Krishna Raj was rushed into emergency care after an accident in 2009. But Rethin, and his family, willed otherwise. He was immediately moved to another hospital where a different set of doctors helped save his life, though his shattered right leg had lost flesh to the bone. For Rethin, now 37, the accident was a turning point.
13 years on, and after 20 surgeries and more than 400 stitches, he is back on his feet, with titanium plates inserted. What’s more, he has turned his once plump body around to radiate a positivity that belies the excruciating pain and trauma of the post-accident days. “Amputation was the only option given to me,” he recalls.“My days comprised multiple surgeries lasting 12-18 hours. Ceilings were all I could see for days together.”
Getting back to normal life was a huge challenge for the vibrant youngster. “I loved biking, and did some modelling too. The realisation that I won’t be able to have the life I always dreamt of shattered me. The years from 2010 to 2014 were spent struggling to reshape my life,” he says. After the accident, Rethin lost his IT job to many months of absence. He then worked with a bank in Tiruvalla for a few months but his heart was never in it. “I felt I had to fight to keep my life going, doing things that I wanted to.”
In 2018, Rethin started hitting the gym to strengthen his body and reduce the weight he had gained during the treatment period. “I weighed 107kg after being discharged. Fed up with body shaming and annoying jokes, I decided to regain my fitness. ”Belonging to Chengannur in Pathanamthitta, he now works with a multinational real estate company in Kochi. But the fight is far from over for Rethin as his second set of surgeries are pending. “I still have restrictions. I am unable to stand for prolonged periods. The inserted plates have to be removed. Preparing for another ordeal of pain requires some time,” says the ebullient Rethin.
Despite the limitations, he manages his gym sessions without straining his leg. “It took a great effort to be in shape and I am determined to keep it. I do workouts including chest press (120 kg), biceps (45kg), seated dumb bell shoulder press and military press for the shoulder. I also work out for my left leg, with leg curls and leg press,” Rethin says.Having even learnt to drive using his left leg, he has started providing training and diet tips online for youngsters looking for a transformation.