More than a month after Charu Khandal suffered a serious spinal injury in a drink driving accident, she was taken for a rehabilitation exercise for the first time on Friday at Kokilaben Hospital, Andheri. Khandal, 28, is suffering from quadriplegia, a serious spinal injury with no sensation below the neck.
Doctors said while road accidents are the second most common cause of spinal injuries, the city urgently needs affordable rehabilitation centres for the people who have suffered similar injuries in the past.
“Charu was taken to the hospital’s rehabilitation centre where she exercised for four to six hours. We will know how she is responding only after six to eight weeks,” said Sagar Thacker, Khandal’s fiancé. Doctors said she may recover completely but it was too early to comment.
Spinal cord injuries are classified as complete or incomplete depending on whether the spine is able to send any signals to organs. Apart from inability to move, a patient also loses bowel and bladder control.
“Patient’s life changes entirely after the injury. Patients from poor economic background often succumb because of complications. We need rehabilitation and social integration for patients. It is important to know that their brain is absolutely normal,” said Dr Sameer Dalvie, spine surgeon at Hinduja Hospital. He said a good rehabilitation centre would get as many as 20 patients per week in Mumbai.