I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.


Kiruba Shankar

Visiting Prabhu at the Hospital

After his operation, I finally got to visit Prabhu at the hospital this evening. The hospital staff would let in only two people in the morning and two in the evening during the half hour ‘visitor hours’ time. I had to wait my turn after all the relatives are done.

When I went in, Prabhu was awake and in good conscious state. Usually, he would be in a drowsy state because of all the medications.

I was not sure whether photography within the critical care unit was allowed and so checked with the ‘sister’. I told her that there are many people who have helped financially and there are many more who are interested in seeing Prabhu. She immediately gave permission. That’s her checking Prabhu when he complained that he has chest pain while talking.

Prabhu’s left cheek had been scraped from the fall but is healing fast. He is still not able to freely turn around because of injury to his neck and the spinal cord. During operation, the doctors have strengthened the spinal cord with a steel rod to give it support.

I leaned toward Prabhu’s ears and told him of all the financial support that we were able to collect to meet his hospital expenses. He wanted to convey his thanks to all (and as he spoke these words, his eyes began to well up). The ‘sister’, seeing his tears immediately asked me to step aside and told me that if be begins to cry or weep, he might develop cold and cough. And if he coughs, it would be terribly hurting for him. I didn’t bring up the topic again.

Prabhu’s legs have heavy bandage around his knees. He still has no sensation below his hips. After about four to five days, he may be shifted to CMC Vellore for further treatment on doctor’s recommendation. I’m told that the physiotherapy dept is one of the best around.

Prabhu’s room has been changed to Room# 23 in the critical care unit of Apollo Hospital.

I will continue the update on Prabhu’s health at the wiki.

The Amazing Act of Kindness of SRM College Students

The students of SRM Engineering college have helped collect over one lakh rupees towards Prabhu’s hospital expenses. Towards the end of this post, I’ll tell you why this act of kindness is so special.

In this picture, Shailendra, a student representative from SRM Engg college hands over the contributions cheque to Prabhu’s parents. Let me hasten to add that it was very awkward for me to ask request them for a photograph. I had to do it. It was important to let others know of the tremendous help that students are doing.

And here’s why this help is so very special. None of the students from SRM know about Prabhu. They have never seem him much like most of you. Prabhu is a student of Mohd.Sadak Engineering college. The SRM guys will only know how Prabhu looks like when I mail them the photographs.

A couple of student voluneteers from Mohd.Sadak had gone to SRM and requested their friends out there to help. A few compassionate students from SRM took up this task and spread the word around the campus and helped collect Rs.1.03 lakhs. Notice carefully that the cheque has been drawn in the name of Apollo Hospitals to make sure that the money goes only for the hospital expenses. They also gave Rs.5000 in cash knowing that the parents might need cash for other expenses.

I had goosebumps. I was amazed at the maturity of the students.

Turning Adversity into an Advantage

We all have a lot to learn from Alexis Leon. He’s the guy who has grabbed life from the jaws of death.

In 1993, Alexis, who was then working as systems analyst at TCS, met with a road accident that left him crippled for life. Doctors told him that he can’t walk in his life. This accident happened three weeks before his marriage and a month before he was to fly to Switzerland.

Today, he is a popular author of 41 technical books and runs his own successful consulting firm. He turned a life crippling disaster into an advantage.

Alexis explains his whole story in his own words. A moving and an inspiring story. I strongly recommend you go read it.

Eight years ago, I met him in person at his home to seek his help in authoring a book. I picked up his phone number from one of his books I was browing at Higginbothams, called him up and fixed an appointment to meet him. When I went to his home, I was shocked to see a wheel chair bound person in front of me. We spent a long time discussing about a book that I never got to publish.

Time passed by and I completely forgot about him until a person left a comment pointing to his website. I got to read his life story and was really moved.

I’m going to read out Alexis’ story to Prabhu, the boy who met with a near similar life crippling fate. Alexis has shown that when adversity stares at you, the best way to do is show your middle finger and live life to the fullest.

We Have Made a Difference

Together, we have helped collect Rs.1.9 lakhs for a boy who really needed help. That’s 839% more than what we originally planned to collect. Its a major help for the boy’s parents who faced a financial black hole. We have helped cover one fifth of the estimated hospital expenses. A true help in need.

The fund raiser has ended and the money has already helped meet some of the hospital expenses. Updates on Prabhu’s health will continue at the wiki.

On behalf of Prabhu’s family, a heartfelt thanks to each one of you who have stepped forward to help. Thank you for offering hope.

Thank you to those who helped spread the word by posting on your blogs, sending out emails and telling your friends.

Thank you to those who left initial comments and emails to help. You made this simple blog post change into a powerful fundraiser.

Thank you for bestowing trust in humanity. You didn’t know Prabhu. You didn’t know his parents. And most of you didn’t know me. That’s why this help is so special.

Thank you. From our hearts.

Prabhu’s Operation a Failure

(If you are new here, please click here and scroll down to read about Prabhu and how we are trying to help him)

Prabhu’s operation got over at 2:30 pm this afternoon. After a three and half hour operation, the doctors have given up. They were unable to repair the nerves that were severely squashed by the compression of the spinal chord bones. The doctors didn’t mince any words. Prabhu will be wheel chair bound for the rest of his life.

On the brighter side, he won’t be a living vegetable. His brain is active. The internal bleeding will soon subside. As part of post-operative procedure, the hospital will provide him physiotherapy and psychotherapy. For a 18 year old boy to know that he can’t walk for the rest of his life can be difficult to swallow. Thankfully, there are professionals to help.

I was meaning to visit the hospital today evening but the hospital staff won’t allow any visitors for today. Tomorrow will be doubtful too. Many of you have mailed in to see photos of Prabhu. That’s very understandable. I will try my best to get one. At the Critical Care Unit, there are restrictions but will try to get one when I get there.

I have been updating the HelpPrabhu Wiki on the progress of Prabhu’s health. I will continue to update the wiki as I slowly move away to other topics on this blog. There are many who have graciously offered support and its my duty to keep all informed about the person they helped.

The fund raising will close tomorrow morning. That’ll help in withdrawing the money and handing it over to the person who has helped loan the money to the parents. The parents still stare at a hefty hospital bill which is beyond their means. Prabhu’s collegemates have helped collect Rs. 1.46 lakhs. We have helped raise Rs. 1.13 lakhs. Prabhu’s relatives have helped collect around Rs.2 lakhs. In total, that’s a collection of Rs.4.6 lakhs. That’s still around another Rs.4 lakhs needed to meet the hospital expenditure of Rs.8.5 lakhs. We may never fill in the gap but atleast we can try reducing it a little. Any small help will be appreciated.