The writings of Birju Patel

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Gift

The Gift

Who says angels are found in heaven only? I have a bunch of angels on earth who are taking care of me. I am really blessed with some special friends who have always been on my side through thick and thin. I might be the richest man on this planet when it comes to friendship, and that is one treasure that is never going to dry up.

This is a moment that belongs to the people that have brought a big smile on this handsome face of mine. There were a bunch of friends that have gifted me a Stand-up wheelchair that has made it possible for me to stand upright. The gift has increased my mobility to a great extent, and life has become a little easier.

Anand Shah was the main man behind this special gesture. Anand Shah got in touch with a few friends from India, USA and UK and they all contributed to buy me this wheel chair from Taiwan. I was touched when I found out that some of the people that gifted me this chair have only met me once or twice. There are a few people that haven’t even met me yet showed their love in such a special way.

I was in a state of trance when I saw Uchit, Sai, Mushir and Raship with the wheel chair for the first time. I was blushing as if I had been in love for the first time, and I was overwhelmed by the excited faces of those four friends. This is one gift that brought tears to my mom’s eyes and I thank you guys for creating such a moment for us.

My Angels:

Anand Shah Hinal(Chinky) Taara Meher Ramku Purvi Amir Patel

Param Ekta Abhay Nikku Mushir Sai Jimish

Komal Chintu Tapan Uchit Shamik Jimmish Neil

Darshan Hrishita Rohan Raship Mihir Rao Behram Yasser

Ripu Daman Singh Vahgela Aditya Nikhil Karogal

I apologies if I missed anyone’s name

To view my new wheel chair please visit

unethical practice by lifeline hospital

Unethical practice by lifeline hospital Chennai

My name is Birju Patel; I am a 32 year old paraplegic. A paraplegic is a person whose lower limbs have been paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury or a spinal cord ailment. Since December 2002 I have been in a wheel chair because of a car accident that happened in USA. I am paralyzed chest below, and desperately want to walk again as I used to before the accident. I have tried to find out about medical technologies that would help me to walk again. Stem cell is the next big hope for people that are in the same situation. In my condition we tend to trust any person that would give us a glimpse of hope, and the thought that we would walk again. I was cheated by such an institute that lit the lamp of my hopes.

In January of 2007 I got in touch with Dr. Ravi Kumar of Lifeline hospital, Chennai This man said that their stem cell programmed showed great promise. He even claimed that of 11 patients form the pilot study, two had stated to walk again.

So on the 5th of February I received an email where he has clearly mentioned that 2 of 11 patients are walking. I still have the copy in my yahoo inbox


Mon, 5 Feb 2007 01:24:29 +0000 (GMT)


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Re: Medical Reports of Birju Patel Baroda


"Birju Patel"

Dear Mr. Patel,
Of our 11 Patients with Spinal Cord injury 2 patients
have started to walk  in the last 2 months. But they
may improve further in the next 2-3 months. As the
Therapy was started only in November These are early
days.Also no body had  any side effects or infecion.
Titanium Implants are no problem- Most of the patients
had some spinal fixation during surgery.
Stem cell therapy is a  New therapy in the realm of
latest innovations in the field of Medicine. In strict
Medicolegal terms - it is in a stage of "CLINICAL
STUDY " only . US FDA has not started looking at it as
nobody in USA is trying it out. In India ICMR (Indian
Council of Medical research)has provisionally approved
Adult Stem cell Therapy NOT EMBRYONIC therapy.
Insurance does not cover it in India- Also nobody has
applied for it. That will take atleast 5 years and
hundreds of case studies worldwide.
Also the cost of RX is 50-60000 Rs which is nominal.
I will try to send  phone numbers of other patients.
The yield of stem cells are about 750-1500 Million
cells and actually that is only 1% of the Total cells
in 100 ml of blood sample we take out from the
No side effects have been noticed till now and none
expected ,except in very few cases - Mild fever for
1-2 days.
I will also highlight that  in case you have any
doubts of efficacy etc of the treatment you may wait
for 1-2 years for full results to be out as these are
VERY EARLY DAYS for us to comment further and we are
observing final results in the majority of patients.
best wishes,

I was very excited after receiving this email, and I was waiting for Dr. Ravi to send me the numbers of the patients that were walking after the treatment. On the 8th of February of 2007 I received an email from Dr. Ravi Kumar with the numbers of both the patients

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Thu, 8 Feb 2007 01:42:10 +0000 (GMT)


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Re: Medical Reports of Birju Patel Baroda


"Birju Patel"

Dear Birju,
 I am giving the numbers of 2 of our patients whose
numbers are available with us:
 1. Mr Srinivas ,Chennai city:09840940283
 2. Mr Akbar Ali ,Village in Cuddalore Distt Tamil
Nadu :09486279887
You may contact them in person.
Mr Srinivas had started treatment 3 months back and is
doing very well.
Akbar Ali is a more Complicated case ,he started
treatment in December.
best wishes,

This email was a moral boost for me, I was excited that I was going to speak to two people that have improved so much after the treatment. First I called Ali Akbar, but couldn’t communicate much with him because he only spoke Tamil. Then I called Mr. Srinivas who spoke Hindi as well as English too, it was a real delight talking to him because he had the same injury level as mine “thoracic 3”. I spoke to him twice and made up my mind that this place will definitely heal me for sure. After the fantastic telephonic conversation I went to Chennai and underwent the stem cell procedure. The detail on my procedure is on the following link.

A while back I spoke to Mr. Suresh Raj who is a coordinator of the stem cell department in lifeline hospital. Some thing was very fishy; the voices of Mr. Srinivas and Mr. Suresh seemed very similar. So I went to the website and checked the Contact us section . I was so hurt to see the Mr. Suresh’s number on this page and Mr. Srinivas’s number on the above email was the same 09840940283. One can check this link and the email that I have pasted on this article. The hospital’s website has hidden the contact page, but the link still works. I have even copied that page Please magnify this photo to see the contents.

I was furious and in my anger I wrote an email to Dr. Ravi Kumar. I have everything in my various emails as evidence. I will give a brief note on the multiple emails that were exchanged on this matter.

  1. First, I just questioned about Mr. Srinivas’s absence in the media. I told him that it was hard to digest that his name was not mentioned in spite of being healed. When Ali Akbar was being publicized so much, there was no mention of Mr. Srinivas.

Dr. Ravi replied that they couldn’t contact Mr. Srinvas because he when back to a rural part of Tamilnadu and was hard to locate him. “In his previous email he mentioned Mr. Srinivas from Chennai”

  1. I confronted him that I know that Mr. Suresh was the one the person that talked to me on the phone as Mr. Srinivas. I even told him that both the numbers were same.

Dr. Ravikumar replied that I might have spoken to him when he was in the hospital. He said most of the patients were poor, so they used the hospital phone.

  1. I told Dr. Ravi that I spoke to Mr. Srinavas twice, first time he was at home and the second time he was at his business.

Dr. Ravi Kumar replied that initially those patients were given mobile phone to use, so that they could locate them easily.

All these exchanges of information were done during a course of a week, Dr Ravi lied so much to hide the unethical step that he and lifeline hospital took to lure me into taking this treatment. If Mr. Srinivas was Chennai then why did he go to the rural area? Why would a man leave his business and go away when he can walk again. It is hard to digest that the hospital doesn’t have records of a person that was miraculously healed by their cutting edge medical treatment. Why are they hiding the contact us page from their website?

I feel that I took a great risk with my life by undertaking this treatment. Their was a time when doctors were considered be gods on earth that would help people by fighting their sufferings. My main question is where is that term “medical ethics” gone, all the doctors take an oath that they would never lie or cheat a patient. I am lucky that I didn’t get any adverse effects from this treatment. I just want these people to stop scamming people like this; I know that many people have borrowed money to take such treatments. I still have a lot of faith in stem cell treatment, and I will still try to find a treatment that would give me a chance to heal.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Competition: A curse

Why do we have to compete with others? Why do we strive so hard to be better than the rest? I think the main problem with our society is that we judge a person’s success by his or her academic achievements or wealth. Success has a broad meaning but most of us are so blinded by the popular notion that we can’t see beyond it. According to me success is an achievement of a goal set by a person, it’s doesn’t have to be monetary or academic in nature.

Today a kid has to handle so much pressure from his or her parents and the peers to excel in schools. The kid is an equivalent of a donkey that has to carry the load of other without the right of expressing his or her real feelings. Nature has created us in such a manner that we need to do a lot of physical activities during the growing years. Sports and exercises during the childhood determines our skeletal and muscular structure  As soon as a kid is in the 9th grade he or she forced to think about college and career, and most of the times parent’s are the ones who decide the career path of child. Recently I watched a piece on the television about the student in IIT; I was astonished to know that 7 students committed suicide this year alone because they got low grades. This is a blunder created by the educational system and the parents who have injected the fear of failure in today’s children. I say it is alright to be an average student or even fail in subjects which are of no interest to a child. Why do you expect your child to become a doctor or an engineer? Why can’t he or she become an artist, an environmentalist, a politician, a social activist etc? A child or the parents should not be ashamed if that child is an average or below average student. Once a very good friend of mine, Pragnya Seth told me that most people in this world are literate not educated and she is absolutely correct. 

When the child reaches adulthood he or she has the pressure to excel in a career. As soon as college is over the youth gets ready to be the part of the famous rat race.  A really exciting life which is spent behind a desk and living a very unhealthy lifestyle. The benefit of such life is that one will have a lot of money when they grow old but would they have the health to enjoy that wealth? Parents didn’t let them grow the way they were meant to and the unhealthy eating habits along with lack of exercise takes a toll on the human body. My question is when does one get to live their life? The childhood is lost due to the burden of school and the adulthood is lost running after money. All the precious moments are lost just to die a painful death because your brain is stressed and your artilleries are choked.  We are all born to explore this world and find ways to make the world a better place .  I  don’t have to beat others to show that I am better than them; I have already beaten gazillion sperms to make it to this world. I have done my part of being competitive even before I was born and that’s why it’s my time to be alive.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am the American trash

This poem is filled with anger and rage towards people who have no value for the human life. Today in USA there are so many deadly people in the streets with guns who wouldn’t think twice before taking a person’s life.  These are the real terrorists spreading terror in USA and that’s why I refer them as “The American trash”. One of these American trashes stole the life of a childhood friend Ambreesh Patel on the 17th of September 2010 in NJ.  This is my way to attack their existence and expose the reality of these animals. Rest in peace Ambreesh

I am the American trash
Brainless and rash

My mother was a crack head
And I don’t know who the hell is my dad

I will rob your stores
 And spend it on my whores

I am a coward who thinks he is bold
 But I am just a spineless animal who was born cold

Before I kill you I will hide my face
Because I am jealous of the money making race

I don’t care if you are anyone’s son
For me you are just a target for my gun

I will pop a cap in anyone’s chest
Because that is thing I know the best

I will do anything for cash
Because I am the American trash

By Birju Patel  22nd September 2010

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I would urge all my readers to dedicate 76 minutes of their lives on a video that could become a life altering experience. I promise each one of you that this video will impact you in a manner that would help you to solve many unsolved mysteries of your life. In my life I have come across many confused souls that were in search for an “ANSWER”. So what kind of an “ANSWER” are these people looking for? The truth of the matter is that these souls had no clue about the “QUESTION”.

LIFE” …. That is what these people are trying to figure out. People spend more time lamenting about their problems rather than focusing on the purpose of their own existence on this planet. Many people whine about their life and they feel that their life is the most unfair life. But they forget the fact that there are many people in this world in situations that are worse compare to their own situation.

Yesterday I saw a video called “Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” which shed a lot of light on life. Many people seek a mentor or a Guru that can help them to unfold the mysteries of this world. People, believe me after watching this video you will be your own guru. There is no better teacher than life

Randy Paush is a professor at a prestigious university who has been diagnosed with cancer and doctors have told him that he has only 3-4 months to live. He is a very talented gentleman and has achieved most of his childhood dreams. In the video he doesn’t talk about his cancer or his problems, instead he is teaching all of us the secret of becoming an achiever. He is such a strong force mentally and that’s the reason he has no fear of death. He could have locked himself in a room and sob about his ill fate but instead of that he wants to spend each and every second of his remaining life having fun.

I would strongly suggest each and every one of you to see this video. I am hoping that each one of you would be ashamed of your own self for complaining and whining about hardships of your own life. If you feel ashamed of yourself after watching this video that means that it has impacted you very deeply. I wish that Professor Paush can live longer and cherish each and every ounce of his life with his three kids and wife. The key is to be alive not just live. You are 76 minutes away from being the master of your own happiness. Life’s best education is a click away
Birju Patel
18th May 2008

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Stem cell Treatment Trip

My Stem cell Treatment: Nectar of life 23rd Feb 2007

I went through this procedure because it seemed like a great hope at the time. I didn't receive any major results, but it was worth trying. I will still look into other institutions and even other types of stem cell that are out there.

Stem cell can be the next nectar of life; it has the potential to heal many ailments that are considered as non curable. My first duty will be to educate you about stem cells, Stem cells can be derived from a lot of different places, and they can be collected from embryo, fetus, umbilical cord blood, bone marrow and a few other things. I went for the bone marrow stem cell procedure which is also known as Autologus stem cell. Other kind of stem cells might not be accepted by our body and there is a great chance of rejection of foreign cells. So even if my stem cells don’t work I will be assured that I don’t get into problems of rejections or tumors. I will not bore you much with all the medical stuff, but there are many articles on stem cell and its types. There is no major surgery involved in this procedure; everything is done with help of needles.


On the 19th of Feb I flew from Baroda at 11.45, and I had to change planes in Bombay. I finally reached the Lifeline hospital at 5.45 pm. This hospital is in Chennai (Madras), so I would suggest you to plan your trip properly if you or a loved one is planning to go there. I had asked for an ambulance, and that was big enough for me and my family to reach the hospital. They just charge 1000 rupees for one way, but it is worth the comfort because that is a 45 min trip.

I was not made to wait in the hospital; as soon as we got in I was taken in my room. The room was so nice; it was like a nice hotel room. The room was spacious and clean; one attendant is allowed to stay with the patient. My dad and uncle were given a deluxe room right next to us; yes the hospital is amazing they provided so much help. Mr. Vivek and Mr. Suresh are the hospital administrators; they will make you feel at home upon arrival.

19th February 2007

As soon as I was in my bed the hospital started its amazing work, you don’t even have to tell them anything.

  1. Two nurses came to check my blood pressure and pulses

  1. Dr Ravikumar (Stem cell coordinator) and Dr Kapadia came to visit me, and had a long chat.

  1. Two nurses came and did my ECG to ensure that my heart was doing fine.

  1. Dr Daniel Neuro surgeon visited me after that, and had a talk.

  1. Dr Hemant, the anesthetic doctor talked to me, and had some FAQs to ensure everything was fine with me.

  1. A barber came and shaved my upper body, they will shave everything between the neck and knees to avoid septic to happen.

  1. An intra venous needle was inserted, then a shot of tetanus was given and a sample dose of the anesthesia was given to check how I would react to it.

  1. An X-ray of my chest was taken, that is done in the room.

20th February 2007

This is how my day one went; I got free at 12.30 am, so I would suggest people to reach there in the afternoon if possible. So my next day started at 6 am, and I was taken to the operation theater by 6.30 am.

  1. I was given general anesthesia for the bone marrow extraction, it was just a nice feeling being so high, and I was having funny feelings. Last thing I remember was they asked me to turn sideways. Then I literally went into dream land, and I just remember that I was in Japan.

  1. I was woken up by the doctors after they had aspired 130 ml of bone marrow from my left hip bone (110 ml for bone marrow & 20ml of anti coagulant) . There is a needle that punctures the skin and bone, and then the bone marrow is sucked. I was taken to the ICU after that procedure.

  1. The bone marrow was taken to the NCRM Japanese lab for stem cell isolation (

  1. It took me like an hour to settle down and get in my real senses.

  1. I was visited by many doctors in the ICU, including the doctors that met me on the 19th.

  1. Dr Ravikumar was accompanied by DR. Samuel Abraham (

  1. I got some minor physical therapy during the time spent in the ICU, the entire time spent in the ICU I was attended by a nurse. I had I. V. on for rest of the day.

  1. Dr Nayarana, the Chief Neuro surgeon came and spoke to me for 20 minutes, he did some minor sensory and strength tests.

  1. I was visited by the CEO of hospital, and then did a small interview for “Jaya TV”.

There were more things happening, I met more people, but I don’t remember all now. I was going to be injected with stem cell at 2.30 pm at the same day. I was just waiting for the thing to begin soon. So the team came to the ICU just before 2.30 pm. I was made to sleep side ways, in such a way that my spine was arched in the proper position. 25- 30 minutes procedure

Stem cell Injection

  1. I was given local anesthesia by Dr Hemant in the lumber area, this is supposed to be painless, but I did feel some pain.

  1. Needles were poked in to my spine that went straight into the Spinal cord liquid.

  1. My injury is on the T3 level( chest level) but the injections were inserted in the Lumber area ( lower back)

  1. Dr Ravikumar injected 18 ml of stem cell in the spine; the approx count of stem cell was 360 million.

  1. The stem cell looked like a white liquid with some red spots in it.

  1. Once the 18 ml was injected, I was made to lie on my back and the legs were raised up so that the stem cell can travel to the injury area.

  1. I was given a sample shot of anti biotic on my hand before being injected intra venous

  1. I was taken back to my room at 7 pm and was asked to lie on my back for 12 hours. Ideally it is better to lie in that position for the 24 hours.

  1. The entire procedure was recorded on a camera

21st February 2007

The 21 February was a rest day; I rested the entire day, in the morning my I.V. was removed. It was a relief to be free of everything. I was visited by Dr Ravikumar and the other doctors. A patient is very well cared in that hospital. The nurses don’t like to be tipped, so it’s not a good idea to offer them money.

I met a patient Ali Akbar; he is 24 year old man who was injured 4 months back. He was paralyzed waist below; He couldn’t walk and didn’t have any bowel or bladder control. After 2 months of his injury he was injected with stem cells, and now he is walking. So this therapy did work for him. This therapy reacts in a different fashion with everyone, it might work for me, it might not work, but I am assured that it will have no adverse effect on me. The therapy might take 3 months to show any progress, regeneration process is a slow one.

This is like using grade “A” fertilizer for a seed; we just have to wait for the plant to grow. This is a wait and watch procedure, honestly I am not able to tell any difference at this time, but maybe in 3 months from now I would have something to say.






Important points

  1. This therapy might not work in the same way for everyone.

  1. The quality and quantity of stem cell derived would be different for everyone.

  1. Age of the person is an important factor, younger the better chances of recovery

  1. Number of years of injury is an important factor, recent injuries have superior chances of progress

  1. Please be patient, this is not a one day wonder therapy. It would take months to show any changes. So please tell this to all your friends and family before you go.

  1. Most important thing is that this therapy might not help you, but it’s worth taking a chance because of no side effects or rejections.

My Email Addy

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Death of a childhood friend

On the 22nd of July 2006 one of my childhood friends “Rajiv Shah” passed away after fighting a battle with cancer for the past 4 years. Rajiv was a very handsome young man, he was full of life and he used to make everyone around him laugh. I have known him since we were kids; we used to be very close. Rajiv was in Daytona doing his masters when he found out about his cancer. He went through a series of treatments in Daytona, later on he was admitted to Moffit cancer center in Tampa.

I remember his sister mentioning that he would be in so much pain after his chemotherapy. Rajiv once made a funny comment that he looked like Barney after the therapy, because he used to turn purple. He was such a strong boy; he had the courage to crack jokes about his situation. Only a real man can have such a heart, humor is the best weapon against pain and sorrow. Rajiv had returned to India as a cured person, but after sometime the cancer germs started to return.

Rajiv was being treated in the Tata memorial hospital, Bombay. He went through a new stem cell procedure a few weeks back, and the operation was a success. But life can be so cruel; when everything was going smooth some kind of infection took over his body. The infection proved to be a fatal one, it had spread all over his body and he went into coma. Rajiv gave a good fight and almost had cheated death. I just wish I could have met him before he left this world.

His death had a great impact on me; it has made me realize a few things. Since the accident I have had grudges against many people. I felt betrayed by some of my friends and family members. There is not a day that I don’t think about the friends that I went to Ybor City on the night of accident; those friends just vanished from my life. I am hurt by most of my friends that I was so close to then and now they don’t even keep in touch. I am hurt most by few of my family members that I loved so much; nothing hurts like being ignored by loved ones.

Every single day I would pray to god that someday I could get my vengeance. But today all those feelings have been suppressed. Rajiv’s death has taught me that life is very unpredictable. I just thought of all my supportive family members and friends that have loved me even in my bad times. Rajiv’s death has made me realize to treasure my relations with the loved ones. Instead of wasting my time on thinking about the losers that left me, I rather invest my energy in strengthening my relationships that stood by my side

I am really blessed with some awesome family members and friends, I might not have a large list of friends like I used to have, but what ever I have at the moment is pure gold. I am happy that I am in touch with my real friends through phone, emails, chats, Internet groups and personal meetings. Anyways I had to tell you guys how much I appreciate your love and support; I wish I had a chance to tell this to Rajiv.

I hope you guys can learn something from this story. There are many people suffering from illnesses and sorrows, you should go and support them. I am sure a family member or a friend is going through such ordeal. If you don’t know anyone like that, then you should volunteer towards a cause, it would definitely put a smile on someone’s face. Well many of you might feel that things like this happen and LIFE GOES ON, but believe me life doesn’t go on for the person that is going through the tribulation. Anyways, I just believe in writing down what ever is on my mind and heart, I don’t expect anyone to agree with my ideologies.



Please don’t ignore this….take some time and read it. 17th February 2006
According to Webster dictionary “ Suicide” is “the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind”

I am in a state of total confusion today; I have mixed feeling towards people that try to put an end to their own life. I have a lot of empathy for such people, at the same time I am raged with anger. Today my cousin informed me that one of our family friend’s daughter tried to commit suicide, she set her self on fire, with 80 percent burns she is fighting for her life in a hospital. I am not sure what the reasons are for doing so, but aunt told me she had problems with some family members in her husband’s family.

A few months back one of my friend’s cousin drown himself in a canal. He had lent 2 million rupees (approx. 45k dollars) to a friend, but that friend refused to pay him back. My friend’s cousin was very ashamed to face his father, so he ended up killing himself, before he died he painted “ I am very sorry” on the walls of the canal. The worse part is that a few years ago, his sister hung herself because she failed a subject in her medical school. Can you imagine how devastated those parents would be; both their kids took their own life.

What does trigger a human mind to put an end to one’s life? I can’t even answer that question. I personally think that no human has the right to commit suicide, no matter how big the problem might be. Even in my situation, never has that thought crossed my mind. I am a real fighter; I would never loose my heart. Some times I get tired of being in the wheel chair and missing all the fun that I used to have, but I don’t let that get to me. I do physical therapy everyday; I take my medication on time and I take good care of myself. I am looking for ways to fight it out; I am sitting on net for hours looking for information on stem cell.

If you are depressed, go and talk to someone…. don’t be ashamed of having problems or depression. If you keep all your sorrows within your self, it will build up a big emotional twister in your head. One day will come when you wouldn’t be able to handle that and would end up hurting yourself or someone else. So if you have a problem of any kind, go look for a solution, always remember that if “one door closes, another opens up”.

One more thing, I believe that everyone is entitled to live his or her own life. Let them choose their own education, career and life partner. I am glad that my sister came out of a bad relationship; she decided to do something about her situation. I am proud that she raised her voice and fought against the injustice. Life was not over for her, she found a nice man again, married him and has a lovely daughter. I am guilty of not approving of her new relationship at the beginning, but I am very happy now that she decided to take charge of her life. So please don’t force your ideologies on your loved one, just guide them to follow the right path.

So you guys never ever think about suicide, it’s the biggest crime. When a person takes his or her life, they kill a part of their loved ones too. Why would someone make their loved ones suffer that way? If you want to really die, go fight for you country in a war or volunteer yourself for a medical research. If you cannot find inspiration around you, come to India and take a look at me. I will teach you how to fight bad time, believe me I am a very strong man, and I don’t have respect for people that break down in hard situations.



A letter on my 31st Birthday (26th Dec 2005)

It's my 31st birthday today, I know I look much younger than that....hahahah. For the past two years I used to get very depressed on this day, as you all know that my accident happened while coming back from my Bday celebrations. I thought that 26th December was a very unlucky day for me, but now I realize that there is nothing wrong about this day. My lifestyle was wrong, that’s the reason of the sudden change in my life.

I would love to change the past, but that’s not in my hands and there is no reason for me to regret about things I have already done. In a sense the accident has made me realize many thing about myself. I never knew how strong I was, I bet most people in my place would have been broken by now. I have matured a lot in these 3 years, and I have more control on my emotions. The most important thing is that because of this accident, I got to meet a lot of special people.I think that I have more respect for people now, especially women. Most enduring and forgiving living being on this planet. Man should have self-respect, not ego...because looks, strength and wealth will never be there forever. I could say a lot, but I will just say that I have grown into a more sensitive person. I have no problem in expressing my emotions or feelings, I have learnt that holding back would do no good.

It’s hard to explain you guys how much transformation has taken place in my 8-ounce brain. I think everyone should go thru a painful period to realize the true joy of one’s life. A man's scale of strength is no measured by his biceps or wealth, but by the ability to maintain a positive mental balance in the bad situations.

Anyways I am sure you guys got my point, I stopped so many people from wishing me on this day. But from now on I am not going to do that, and accept all your warm wishes with open arms. I wish all of you a very happy new year in advance……don’t drink and drive nor let anyone else do that either.



The story of my accident

I am writing my story not to glorify the life style I used to have, but it is an honest effort to educated irresponsible people who endanger their and others' lives. It is the story of transformation of an immature boy into responsible adulthood in the past year and half. My life has been very colorful. There is hardly anything I haven't done.

In 1996 when I turned 21 years old, my dad asked me that I should go to USA and learn how to live life the hard way. It was easy for me to come to the states because I was born in New York City. I decided to live in Tampa Bay, where I used to work in a gas station 50 plus hours a week. Bored, I decided to join a university. My life at university of south Florida was awesome. I made a lot of friends. Life was good, playing volleyball every day, cricket on weekends and the nights were like never ending alcohol festival. All this ended on the 26 December 2002, my 28th birthday.

I was very happy and looking forward to enjoy that night. So along with my friend Jignesh Bakarania, I went out clubbing where I drank like a fish. Everyone in the club was offering me drinks and the whole atmosphere was wild. That's all I remember about that night. When I opened my eyes, I was surrounded by a herd of medical people. One of the nurses told me that I had an accident and my body was paralyzed below the chest. I thought I was dreaming. I asked the doctors how were my friends. I was very worried about him.

According to the report my friend was driving the SUV very fast, which caused it to flip. During this impact I was thrown out of the window of the front seat, and I was found 20 feet away from the car. The doctors told me that I had incurred a spinal cord injury; my spine was compressed from the T-3 to T-5 region. Luckily my friend escaped with just some minor cuts on the face. This event shook my entire family, I realize now that how much pain I had caused them. I didn't realize how serious this injury was; we thought I would get all right in a month or so. Spinal cord injury was a new concept, which we didn't understand in the beginning; even the doctors didn't give us a straight answer when we asked them if I would be able to walk again.
The first month I was not able to get up, due to the heavy blood loss. One day had changed my entire life. I was such an independent person, and suddenly I was entirely dependent on people.

Dr Kumar of Tampa Bay did a fantastic job with my spine. It was an amazing feeling when my Indian, American, Pakistani and Bangladeshi friends came to visit me at the hospital. I was in Tampa general for two months, where I started my physical and occupational therapy. At first this was very hard; I barely had any strength in me. Even small functions of daily life seemed like mammoth targets. My friends used to visit me everyday at my place, used to take me around. But Jignesh was nowhere to be seen. After some time, he went back to his old ways. The shocking thing is that he was charged with a DUI again in March 2004, the cops arrested him at 9 am, unbelievable? You better believe it people. I felt hurt a lot when I heard that, I thought that our incident didn't make any difference to him. Anyways in May 2003 I left Tampa for a new hope.

I went to a very renowned ayurvedic hospital in Kerala, Arya Vaidya Sala that is located in Kottakal. After treatment for six weeks, I flew to Baroda, Gujarat, and my hometown.
I wish I could get well soon, so that I can put a smile on my parents face. They have been through a lot emotionally and financially; I really want to change this situation. I am thankful to all my friends in USA; they have been very loyal and understanding. I would also like to thank Pawan Mehra, who was never there in the good times, but one of the first ones to get in touch with me in the bad times. Pawan has inspired me to write about my story.

Birju Patel