Paulami Patel – The Girl Who Lived
Often women are regarded as one weaker gender, the one that couldn’t endure physical hardship. But this notion seems to differ from the women of steel, the ones who overcome the misfortunes like a pro. There so many women out there giving their best and challenging fate to change its course by their own hard work and determination.
One such brave woman is Paulami Patel, whose story differs from our usual everyday stories and might not be the one you heard of. But her story recites several tales of comfort we seek in our difficult times. As we said it’s not the story you heard, but a story you could inspire from. Let’s take a look at her tale narrated as ‘The Girl with Wings’.
Paulami Patel, 30-year-old with 45 surgeries
Paulami Patel was still a child when she lost her right hand, her survival quoted as a miracle for a mere 12-year-old who recovered from 11,000 volts of electrocution.
It was yet a casual vacation for Paulami to visit her paternal uncle’s house in Hyderabad for her summer holidays. Catching up with her cousins and spending time with them might not sound strange to anyone for a 12-year-old. But it was her vacation that changed her life completely. One day Paulami and her cousins decided to pretend fishing from their balcony, while elders for away for an afternoon nap. They decided to use a rod as a fishing rope. The rod slipped from Paulami’s hand and got entangled with a wire, which she assumed to be a cloth line. The moment she caught the rod, Paulami was electrocuted with 11,000 volts and was thrown off the balcony.
When her relatives found her, they discovered her lying in the pool of blood with torn clothes and burns at various places. They at once took her to the hospital where doctors told them that there are 75 to 80% burns on her body. Because current traveled from her right hand to her left leg, her leg lost muscles and tissues.
“The doctors thought that it was a miracle I survived. Because in most cases, the patient dies on the spot. The current had traveled through my right hand and left through my left foot. While my right hand was severely damaged, my left foot had no skin, muscles, or tissues left.” told Paulami Patel in an interview with The Better India.
After a week of being admitted the doctors amputated her right hand because the gangrene started to spread. After a month she was flown back to Mumbai via air ambulance where she was admitted to another hospital. The doctors in the hope to save her left hand suggested surgery to transfer muscles from her abdomen to her left hand so that it could be operated on. After 12 hours long operation, her surgery was successful and they managed to attach a 12-inch sensory nerve to her left hand. Paulami spends another 8 months in hospital.
Paulami Patel today runs her family business.
Enduring the battle was one thing but overcoming the aftermath is another. Her biggest support was her parents who never cried in front of her or made her feel different. They joked and laughed with her and gave her a comfort zone for accepting her fate. Even her school was cooperative and gave her notes to continue her batch without wasting a year. Later she learned how to write with her prosthetic arm. Though at the beginning it felt difficult and she managed to only write a letter but due to constant practice, she did better day by day. She remembered that she rewrote the complete story of Matilda while one of her practices. Later, she completed her BCOM and got an MBA. She now runs her family business.
Paulami Patel had married her childhood friend, Sundeep Jotwani, five years ago. She met Sundeep in her college years and started dating thereafter. She says that her husband has always been her pillar and supported her all along. With the help of her parents, husband, and her own hard work, Paulami today drives, writes, bungee jumps, and even skydives. Paulami Patel is truly ‘The Girl with Wings’.
“At 30, I’ve had 45 surgeries and lost my right hand, but still lived to the fullest. I married the love of my life who only lifts me higher, work full time on my business, drive like a boss, skydive, bungee jump and do multiple open water drives and have so much more to do…but not before I continue to celebrate every little victory and do my little dance along the way!” – Paulami Patel.
Her story reminds us that being strong is a matter of choice and that absolutely nothing can stop you from becoming anything you wish as long as you strive for it. Though being handicapped, Paulami Patel today deals with heavy machinery in her family business and still does just fine. It is a reminder for everyone to stop what is stopping you from making your dreams a reality!