Monday, 30th October 2017

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CMRI celebrates 50th anniversary

Survivors redefine grit and determination

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 15.12.19, 12:42 AM
  • Updated 15.12.19, 12:42 AM
  • 2 mins read
Patients and doctors with (centre) Simmardeep Singh Gill, COO of CK Birla Hospitals, on Saturday. CMRI is part of the CK Birla Hospitals group. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Two friends were on the Majerhat bridge on a two-wheeler when it collapsed in September last year. One survived, the other did not.

Papai Roy was riding the two-wheeler with his childhood friend Soumen Bag on the pillion when the bridge collapsed.

All Roy, 27, could recall on Saturday was he had felt an enormous vibration on the bridge. The next thing he remembered was lying on a hospital bed five days later.

Roy and five others like him who returned almost from the jaws of death and are now leading normal lives were felicitated at a programme on Saturday to mark the 50th anniversary of Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI).

Doctors present on the occasion said there was a lot to learn from the “grit and determination” of these people.

Roy, a resident of Behala, was in hospital for close to 25 days, five of which were on ventilator support. He could not walk and talk properly for almost three months after being discharged from hospital.

But these could not stop him from starting all over again. Roy, who is doing his master’s in commerce, goes to work in Salt Lake every day, using public transport. “I am working with the West Bengal Book Board in Salt Lake. I do not have any problem with standing or walking. So, I take a bus to reach my workplace.”

Sujoy Mukherjee, a doctor who had treated Roy, remembered how “he would always ask me whether he would get well soon”. Such optimism in patients also enthuse a doctor, he said.

Others, too, shared their stories of overcoming challenges to lead a normal life. Stuti Das, 27, suffered an accident on NH6 in Birbhum in March 2016. She had fractured her legs, waist and pelvis. She still finds it difficult to walk but that has not stopped her from going on solo trips to the hills. “I even trekked during my recent visit to Sikkim.”

Paromita Bera, who is doing her master’s in sociology, is a 2015 acid attack survivor.

Bera, in her 20s, was in class XII then when a failed suitor threw acid on her.

She dreams of a career where she would stand up for the weak who face violence and discrimination.

There are some regrets, too. Roy misses his friend and feels sad.

“I went near the Majerhat bridge collapse site months after I returned home from hospital. That day I cried for my friend. We were in the same school and same college. We were childhood friends.”