He has been on a wheelchair following an accident that damaged his spinal cord 22 years ago. But Rajeev Palluruthy, 52, of Kochi in Kerala stands tall as an epitome of guts, will power and perseverance that helped him fight the cruel fate that totally debased his life at his prime age.
Rajeev, who beams positivity and has been an inspiration to thousands of accident victims, is now on a mission spreading awareness about the importance of safely shifting accident victims to hospitals.
He cites his own case as an example while explaining to people about the importance of following safe methods to shift accident victims to the hospital.
Rajeev was hit by a wood-laden truck while he was walking along the road. Though he was rushed to a nearby hospital by onlookers, the injury to his spinal cord aggravated because he was shifted in a haste and in an improper manner. “I am thankful to the people who took me to the hospital. But if they had shifted me in a proper manner, my spinal cord would not have been severely damaged. Though I was crying at that time saying my legs were burning with pain, the people couldn’t understand it because my legs were not injured. The pain was due to an injury in the spinal cord. They just carried me in their hands without understanding the actual cause of the pain on my legs. In fact, it aggravated the damage resulting in total loss of sensation of my legs,” Rajeev said, adding that people in Kerala always come forward to help accident victims without any hesitation and take them to the hospitals.
“But every one should bear in mind that there is a safe method to carry a victim because much depends on how the victim is transported to a nearby hospital. We should not shove a victim into a vehicle in order to reach a hospital immediately. There is a proper emergency medical protocol that needs to be followed while rescuing an accident victim and shifting the person to a nearby hospital,” Rajeev told “Open Digest”
Rajeev says that an extricated victim should be laid flat on a surface first and the person should be shifted only on a stretcher. “If a stretcher is not available, a strong cloth can be spread and used as a stretcher to carry the victim. In no case, the victim should be hurried into a vehicle. It’s better to always wait for an ambulance and paramedics to reach at the spot to shift the victim,” Rajeev said.
Apart from conducting awareness on safe methods in shifting accident victims, Rajeev also conducts counselling of the accident victims to instil confidence in them. “More than the physical deformity, an accident victim suffers mental trauma. I spend time with people who have been physically disabled following accidents. I think my life has become a message after the accident and I want to use it to communicate positively to the people,” said Rajeev, who is an active volunteer of All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation that empowers wheelchair users in the state. Apart from fighting for the rights of the disabled, Rajeev is also into organising various palliative care movements.
Rajeev has a word of advice to those who have become disabled in an accident. “There is no point in rueing about what has happened. We need to accept the reality and try to mentally overcome it. Everyone has the metal strength to move ahead in life. Try to make use of the time we have in this world to do some good things. Mental strength is of prime importance than physical strength,” he added.