"The doctors told me that I would never be able to sit up – I took their challenge!" Sangeeta, India

When Sangeeta fell off a roof fifteen years ago, she thought her life was over. As a result of the fall, she had sustained a serious spinal cord injury and lost all sensation in her lower body. Her condition was critical and she was admitted to hospital in Delhi where she remained for the next six months hoping for signs of improvement.

When Sangeeta was finally discharged, doctors broke the news that she would never be able to walk or sit up independently again. She was devastated. Sangeeta was a popular teacher at a private school, tutoring children in Hindi, English, Maths and Punjabi and she feared that her injury would prevent her from being able to work.

As she left the hospital without a wheelchair or any other form of mobility device, Sangeeta resolved to prove the doctors wrong and, with the support of her parents, she began a rigourous regime of treatments, medication, and exercises. Her hard work paid off and, to the surprise of her doctors, she can now sit independently.

The doctors told me that I would never be able to sit up – I took their challenge!

Today, Sangeeta lives in a small, rented house in Kampur with her husband, who works as a homepathic doctor. He is very protective of his wife and she feels very lucky to have such a supportive family around her:

I have much respect for my husband – after seeing all of my conditions, he accepted me

Despite her improved health, Sangeeta’s mobility was still limited until, two years ago, she was called to attend a Motivation-trained wheelchair service for an assessment. Four months later she was prescribed a new Rough Terrain wheelchair, designed for the uneven paths around her home and fitted to her unique needs.

The wheelchair has given Sangeeta back her independence - not only can she sit unsupported, she can also propel the wheelchair on her own and move around her home and the surrounding areas. While she used to have to sit at home and wait for people to visit her, she can now go to temple with her husband and visit her relatives.

Sangeeta works from home as a private tutor, which makes her very happy:

I love to teach children and engage them! Many of the children who come to me are from poor backgrounds so it makes me happy to teach them.

The freedom her Rough Terrain has bought her is also helping her to find more students in need of tuition:

I only had five or six children [coming for tutoring] but after getting the wheelchair I could visit parents and ask them why their children are not coming for teaching – I now have 32 students.

Sangeeta makes a modest living and has high hopes to expand her tutoring business, which not only benefits her, but also the local children – many of whom are not in regular schooling.

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