September 29th, 2016
“This date, exactly 10 years ago, I was lying on my presumed deathbed. I was in a coma, living on a ventilator. My mom and dad decided to have a birthday party, which my aunt, uncle, two brothers, and sister-in-law so graciously planned. They brought food, cake, and decorated my hospital room so beautifully. My parents invited all of my family because the doctor had given my parents an ultimatum – If I didn’t show any signs of improvement on my birthday, then on the 30th of September, they’d pull the plug from my ventilator – eventually causing my death.
My family started singing Happy Birthday at exactly 3:05pm, when I was born. As soon as I cut my cake, I opened my eyes. Everyone started screaming and the doctors rushed in. After a full check up, they hugged my parents saying that my improvement was a miracle! THEY SAID I’D SURVIVE! I went back into my coma after approximately half an hour and finally came out of it on October 5th (which is when I celebrate a second birthday).
I didn’t realize the severity of my health until I went to physical therapy. There I realized that I couldn’t even hold up my head. I was paralyzed from the neck down. After many excruciating hours of physical therapy, both by my parents and by professional therapists, I regained the use of my arms. I always was a fighter and I promised myself that I wouldn’t give up.
Except that I did at one point while battling depression. After two attempted suicides and continuous wishes to be normal and independent, I decided to live up to my name, quite literally. Virali means strength, warrior, beauty, uniqueness, and love. I desperately needed to live up to my name. I couldn’t give up, I just couldn’t. I started focusing on myself, I started working hard, and I started loving myself.
After battling depression, attempting two suicides, and after many broken relationships – I overcame my hurdles and hardships (even though I have many more to overcome as of yet). I’ve regained approximately 70% of my mobility and started following my dreams.
Within the last 10 years, I gained more self-confidence and won second place in The Miss Wheelchair India pageant in 2014. I started writing about my life’s experiences on Quora and earned 58,000 followers that are getting inspired and motivated by my writing, while I create a future for myself. I’ve become a motivational speaker and have been graced by standing ovations. I started pursing modeling and acting, although I’m still waiting for my big break. Last but not least, I’ve started to bring awareness about disability through my writing, because there isn’t much awareness in India, unfortunately.
What I want to say is that nothing can stop you from pursuing your dreams. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but you shouldn’t. Look past the negative and focus on the positive, you WILL prevail.
So, it’s been 10 years and I’m now 25 years old. Here’s to a more beautiful life and an extraordinary future! CHEERS!”
Story By – Virali Modi | Quora