Crash survivor in Dubai looks at the brighter side of life
Dubai - His face was left disfigured as his cheek bones, eye, upper face, jaw and almost all facial bones were impacted.
Indian expat Satish Patwardhan may have lost half of his face in a terrible car accident that took place while he was on his way to work, but the 48-year-old has not lost his positivity, humour and hope.
It was a normal day for Satish, who worked in a local carpet manufacturing firm in Dubai, as he was picked up by his office van which met with an accident. All he remembers is opening his eyes a month later. And this is when he learnt how badly he was injured in the accident. Satish lost vision of his right eye permanently. His face was left disfigured as his cheek bones, eye, upper face, jaw and almost all facial bones were impacted.
Satish, the sole bread winner to a family of three living in the UAE for the last four years, had to undergo a series of procedures to manage his condition. He couldn't eat normally for almost two months and had to be fed through feeding tubes.
Some part of his brain was out, he underwent craniotomy, removing of a section of the skull to access the brain underneath to tackle blood clots and swelling of the brain.
When asked about the major challenge, Dr Santosh Kumar Sharma, consultant neurosurgeon, said: "Satish was bleeding profusely and we had to stop his bleeding by restraining the broken facial bones so that they do not injure the blood vessels further."
According to Satish, it was the support of his wife Swati and fourteen-year-old son Shreyas, and the expertise of the team of doctors that helped him survive the crash. "Both the parties never lost hope and encouraged and motivated me to move on. I sometimes joked with my son that my face is disfigured and would he still be ok to take me to his school for parent-teacher meeting? And he said, 'Of course dad, I am so proud of you. You are brave and you are my hero'."
The reconstructive surgeries and procedures took close to 12 hours with a comprehensive medical team of NMC under Dr Santosh Kumar Sharma and including Dr Bhushan Jayade, consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon; Dr Vasu Kumar, specialist ophthalmologist; Dr Carlos Fernandes, consultant ENT; Dr Mahesh Varma, consultant gastroenterologist; and Dr Vijayant Kadaraju, specialist orthopaedic and spine surgeon.
His wife Swati said: "It was an accident that can happen to anyone so why make it a tragedy. We are looking at the brighter side that by God's grace he survived it. In fact, he laughs at the thought that he will have to get a plastic surgery done for his nose and says that he will tell the surgeon to transform his face into that of my favourite film actor."
Satish said he was grateful that his company accepted him back even though he has limited vision. "The best thing about this accident is that I saw how my firm and staff of the company supported me like a family. "Do not give up and look at the brighter side of life. Look at what you have and not what you have lost. The moment you lose hope, you will not be able to survive. So just forget about whatever bad has happened and look about what can be done now in future."