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I thought I?d die: Vivek

Vivek, who is recovering from a twin fracture and breathing problems, thought at one point that he was probably going to die.
PTI | By Subhash K Jha (Indo-Asian News Service)
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2003 08:01 PM IST

Vivek Oberoi, who is recovering from a twin fracture and breathing problems, says that at one point he thought he was probably going to die.

Explaining his fear of that moment he said, "It's like going to hell and coming back. I can't begin to describe what I've been through."

Vivek broke two bones in his left leg while shooting for a Mani Ratnam film in Kolkata this month. He quickly developed breathing complications and was rushed to the Hinduja Hospital where he was kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

"I'm really thankful to god for being alive. The leg was never really a problem. It was operated on, and that's it. It was the complications in my lungs that scared the hell out of me. No one knows what exactly happened. They call it war trauma.

"I needed external support to breathe. It was scary. I was spitting blood. I couldn't breathe without a mask and I couldn't eat anything. Every time I uttered a word I felt an acute pain in my chest. There was a time when I had actually started to sink."

He further added "My family was my life support system during these critical weeks. Every time I'd wake up in ICU, I'd see my dad sitting on a chair in a corner. At one point I broke down and almost gave up hope. The chest pain was unbearable."

"Everyday doctors used to assure me that I'd be better tomorrow. But tomorrow never seemed to come. Then suddenly overnight I improved. I'm so grateful to the people who prayed for me."

According to the actor who is being billed as the next Bollywood superstar, "That day I broke two bones the pain was incredible. Here's what happened...I was giving a shot in which Abhishek (Bachchan) was chasing me. A stuntman was coming towards me riding a bike from the opposite direction. He was supposed to skid and go off in the opposite direction. What happened was he skidded and came flying at lightening speed - straight at me. I managed to get one leg out of the way. Otherwise I'd have broken both. The motorbike's chrome-plate guard snapped at my leg and threw me 10-feet high in the air. My back, shoulders, hips were all hurt when I hit the ground and went rolling down the road."

"Next thing I remember that I was on the operation table, and since they had to keep me in half conscious state, I could feel the entire impact of the excruciating pain."

"The worst part was to be put with critically ill patients in the ICU. To watch people dying in front of my eyes caused a psychological trauma."

"I believe there was a report in the media that I was being kept in ICU to avoid press and fans. Am I mad to voluntarily stay in a place where I'm repeatedly reminded of death with an oxygen mask on my face watching people screaming in pain, wanting to die because they can't take the pain anymore!"

"Now I'm out of ICU. Hopefully, I'll be out of hospital in a couple of days. The leg will take three months to heal. But I plan to start my physiotherapy very soon. I'll be on crutches shortly."

"But it'll be the first week of September when, hopefully, I can walk without a crutch. All my schedules are in a mess. That can't be helped. I'm just thankful to be alive.

"Now I just want to take stock of the situation. Mani Ratnam, Indra Kumar and John Mathew's films are affected, not so much Samir Karnik's Kyun Ho Gaya Na because in any case I was to shoot again for him at the end of this year.

"I don't want any filmmaker to be inconvenienced. Luckily my shooting schedules are pretty much linear, so there'll be no overlapping."

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