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  • Writer's pictureMadhavi Latha Prathigudupu

Turning Difficulties into Opportunities

On 15th May, 2007, I received this attached report from a renowned orthopaedic surgeon in Chennai. After seeing my spine X ray and listening to me about my health complications which are the results of Post Polio Syndrome (like severe spine compression, unbearable muscle and bone weakness), the doctor without uttering a single word to me started dictating the attached report to his PA. My mind became blank after hearing his dictation and immediately tears started rolling down on my cheeks. When I asked the doctor what would be the result of my spinal surgery, he said success chances were minimal.

This shocking news landed me and my family in great distress. Finally, we decided not to go for surgery. Generally, whatever may be the difficulty I come across, I would try strongly to find a way to overcome it. But in this matter, I could not understand what to do. I was in a dilemma. At that time, one physiotherapist, Mr Ananda Jothi, came to my rescue by advising me on hydrotherapy along with other exercises to alleviate my pains.

No words to explain how hydrotherapy transformed my life. These 15 years’ time made me a national para swimming champion, co-founder of Paralympic Swimming Association of Tamilnadu & Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India, Inclusion Advocate through my movement Yes, We Too Can!!!, public speaker,

founder of a NGO YWTC Charitable Trust, author of my book #Swimmingagainstthetide and recently an actor/maker of a short film including writing the story ( apart from my regular full time profession in standard chartered bank.

I am very much grateful to my physio Mr Anand for introducing me to swimming through hydrotherapy. I express my thanks from the bottom of my heart to my loving and caring parents and other family members and my organisation for their unstinting support to overcome that difficult situation and to continue to manage my health. That doesn’t mean I have come out of that life-threatening situation. But I learnt the technique to accept that situation and manage with it while continuing to explore my inherent strengths to promote inclusion for Persons with Disabilities in the society.

Many times, we feel that our life comes to an end as and when we face any difficult situation. But we rarely realise that an opportunity comes in the guise of a difficulty to bring the hidden potential out from us.

But with my personal experience I realised this fact !

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