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Please Help Prabhu


Prabhu is a 18 year old engineering student who fell down from the 3rd floor of his hostel terrace. He is currently admitted at Apollo Hospital in Chennai. On 16th Feb, an unsuccessful 3.5 hour operation was conducted. Doctors have said that he will not be able to walk for his life.


Please do take the time to read account of his accident


The entire line up of incidents regarding Prabhu's accident and the outpouring of help can be read here http://www.kiruba.com/labels/Help.html


Fund Raising Initiative


The Fund raiser has ended. Thank you to all the benevolent compassionate people who helped in contributing money. We have collected Rs.1.9 lakhs, 839% more than what we hoped to inititally. We have helped cover nearly one fifth of the estimated hospital expense of Rs.8.5 lakhs ($19,000). A big Thank You to all.



The college mates of Prabhu from Mohd Sadak College of Engineering are extremely proactive. They have donated their own money and also pleaded help from their parents to raise money.



Update on Prabhu's Health


15th Feb, Thursday

  • I heard from the Prabhu's cousin sister that his operation might take place tomorrow.
  • Correction: Prabhu's collegemates have helped raise Rs.70,000 and not Rs.1 lakh as quoted above. They have handed over this money to their college Principal.(update 17th feb: they have since collected more than Rs.1.6 lakhs)



16th Feb, Friday


  • Prabhu's operation has been fixed for today afternoon. The exact time isn't known yet. I'm in constant touch with Sudhakar, prabhu's childhood friend who is at the hospital right now. Will update as soon I know when the operation starts.


  • College friends of Prabhu (Mohd Sadak coll of engg) have helped collect a further Rs.67,000. They have handed over the money to the hospital for the operation advance.


  • Prabhu's 'Periyappa' ( father's elder brother) has paid Rs.33,000. Apollo hospital needed Rs.1 lakh to be deposited for the doctors to proceed with operation.


  • The info that Prabhu may not walk again even after the operation has been conveyed to Prabhu's mother. As expected, she broke down and clearly devastaded.


  • I received an email from a doctor from saying that it is common procedure for doctors at hospitals to say the worst before an operation. This way, if there is even a relative success, then the parents and relatives are happy and grateful to the doctors.


  • Here is update about Prabhu's friend, who also fell down from the 3rd floor along with Prabhu. He has been admitted to Isabella hospital at Mylapore. His operation got over day before yesterday (14th Feb). He is out of danger. The doctors have said that he can be discharged within a week. I don't know the boy's name but heard that his parents are from a very poor family. The hospital expeses came to Rs.2 lakhs. But his collegemates went as a team and pleaded the hospital management to help. I hear that they have reduced the cost by Rs.70,000. The college students are doing amazing work.


  • Prabhu has been taken to the operation theater.


  • The visiting hours at Apollo hospital is between 10:00 and 10:30 in the mornings and 5:00 and 5:30 PM in the evenings. I plan to go to the hospital today evening to get a check in person about how Prabhu's operation took place.



  • First the sad news. After the 3.5 hours operation, the doctors have given up hope that Prabhu will ever walk. The nerves have snapped and are beyond repair. He will be wheel-chair bound for the rest of his life.


  • He is still in the post-operative care room.


  • Doctors have said that blood-clot will be the biggest trouble for Prabhu's life. Because he will always be lying down during the post-operation days, there are chances of blood clot which may hinder proper blood flow. Because Prabhu has no senstion below his hips, he has no way of knowing when the blood clot happens. While at the hospital the nurses will help in carefully changing his body position. When he gets home, his parents will have to take care of this.


  • I was meaning to visit the hospital today evening but looks like I can't. The hospital staff won't let in any visitors today. Tomorrow may be in doubt too. Will have to get inputs from Sudhakar, who is currently at the hospital.


17th Feb, Saturday

  • Sudhakar (Prabhu's childhood friend) has been the person who has been helping the most. From running around hospitals, getting reports, arranging for blood, coordinating with collegemates and constantly updating me of progress, he has been very active. He is a Reliance employee and he approached the company for a few days leave to be around the hospital to help. He was refused. And what he did next, surprised me. He quit his job. I'm not sure if that's a wise decision but it surprises me to see to what extent people go to help.


  • My wife pointed out a longer lasting problem. The doctors mentioned that since Prabhu has no sensation below his waist, he won't know when he has urinated or defecated. Right now, there are nurses at the hospital who will clean. But after the discharge from hospital, it will be a big responsibility on Prabhu's monther to take care of him.


  • This is unrelated to Prabhu but about someone who faced through a similar problem. Exact this day last year, was the last day my father-in-law spoke. He fell into brain-dead state and my mother-in-law had to take care of him like a baby for 9 months until is death in Oct 2006. I have seen with my own eyes how difficult it is to take care of someone who is completely helpless.


  • At 7:30 this morning, the fundraiser at Chipin was closed. This will help us taking out the money. Getting money out of PayPal to India is a prolonged process. It takes 20 days, sometimes upto a month for the cheque to reach India.


  • ShriPriya, who earlier worked for EBay (which owns PayPal) has volunteerd to help speed up the transfer. It's amazing in how many ways people can help.


  • Sad news. Prabhu has also fractured his neck bone. Doctors have put a stabilizer cast around his nect to prevent him from any abrupt movement.


  • Please read the gritting story of Alexis Leon. 10 years ago, Alexis met with an accident and was in a similar state as that of Prabhu. But he has courageously fought back inspite of misgivings. http://www.AlexisLeon.com


18th Feb, Sunday


  • The doctors have strengthened the spinal chord with a steel rod. This was done during yesterday's operation.


  • Prabhu has trouble speaking. Whenever he tries to, his chest swells up. Doctors have asked him not to strain and advised any visitors from not trying to engage him in any talk. (typically people will ask questions like, "how are you feeling?" which prompts Prabhu to speak.


  • There are talks to take him to CMC, Vellore to see if they can get a second opinion. Nothing has been firmed up.


  • Paypal has a rule that only a max of $2500 can be withdrawn in a month. This is a big bummer. Now, the parents will have to wait till March 1st to withdraw the remaining amount.


  • Visiting Prabhu at the Hospital


After his operation, I finaly got to visit Prabhu at the hospital this evening. The hospital staff let in only two people in the mornings and two in the evening during the half hour 'visitor hours' time. I had to wait my turn after all the relatives are done.



When I went in, Prabhu was awake and in good conscious state. Usually, he would be in a drowsy state because of all the medicines. He was wide awake and chatted well.


I was not sure whether photography within the critical care unit was allowed and so checked with the siter. I told her that there are many people who have helped financially and there are many more who are interested in Prabhu's recovery. She immediately gave permission. That's her checking Prabhu when he complained that he has chest pain while talking.



Prabhu's left cheeck had been scraped hard from the fall but is fast heeling. He is still unable to freely turn around because of injury to his neck and the spinal cord. During operation, the doctors have strenghted the spinal cord with a steel rod to give it support.


I leaned toward Prabhu's ears and told him of all the financial support that we were able to collect to meet his hospital expenses. He wanted to convey his thanks to all (and as he spoke these, his eyes began to well up). The sister, seeing his tears immediately asked me to step aside and told me that if be begins to cry or week, it would develop cold and cough. And if he coughs, it would be terribly hurting for him. I didnt bring up this topic again.



Prabhu's legs have heavy badage around his knees. He still has no sensation below his hips. After about four to five days, he may be shifted to CMC Vellore for further treatment on the doctor's recommendation. I'm told that the physiotheraphy dept is one of the best around.


Prabhu's room has been changed to Room# 23 in the critical care unit of Apollo Hospital.


The Amazing Act of Kindness of SRM College Students


The students of SRM Engineering college have helped collect over one lakh rupees towards Prabhu's hospital expenses. Towards the end of this post, I'll tell you why this act of kindness is so special.



In this picture, Shailendra, a student representative from SRM Engg college hands over the contributions cheque to Prabhu's parents. Let me hasten to add that it was very awkward for me to ask request them for a photograph. I had to do it. It was important to let others know of the tremendous help that students are doing.



And here's why this help is so very special. None of the students from SRM know about Prabhu. They have never seem him much like most of you. Prabhu is a student of Mohd.Sadak Engineering college. The SRM guys will only know how Prabhu looks like when I mail them the photographs.


A couple of student voluneteers from Mohd.Sadak had gone to SRM and requested their friends out there to help. A few compassionate students from SRM took up this task and spread the word around the campus and helped collect Rs.1.03 lakhs. Notice carefully that the cheque has been drawn in the name of Apollo Hospitals to make sure that the money goes only for the hospital expenses. They also gave Rs.5000 in cash knowing that the parents might need cash for other expenses.


I had goosebumps. I was amazed at the maturity of the students.


22nd February, Thursday


  • Prabhu has been shifted from the Critical Care Unit to the General Ward. This is a good sign of progress.


  • The tubes that were inserted into his lungs to suck out the blood hasd been removed. (his lungs started bleeded earlier because the broken ribs had punctured his lungs during the fall).


  • Prabhu still does not know that he has been paralyzed waist down. Nobody has told him still. He think its numb because of lying down constantly.


28th February, Wednesday


Prabhu has been moved from Apollo Hospital to LifeLine Hospital near Perungudi. The decision was taken after reading an article in The Hindu where a similar person with spinal-cord injury has been treated well.


5th March, Monday

The doctors have performed operation on Prabhu. They have removed the stem cells from his bone marrow and injected in healthy stem cells. They have said that there is a possibility of slight sensation returning back to Prabhu's toes in about 6 weeks time. If that happens, then there is a possibility of improvement.


6th March, Tuesday

The doctors have said that Prabhu can be discharged by Thursday. He would be taken to CMC, Vellore for physiotheraphy treatment.

His college students have further collected Rs.24,000 today. Their fund raising drive is amazing.

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