Come walk with me!
Team Member: Thishya Weragoda
I’m raising funds for a girl who is not ready to back down in the face of death.
On the night of 10th October 2001, just a few weeks after my sister had left to UK for her studies, and just a little over a month after I fell asleep at the steering wheel and crashed into a lorry, I got a numbing and burning and squeezing pain in the middle of my chest. Earlier that morning I wasn’t feeling too well, I visited a doctor, got an ECG and was told that it could be nothing more than gastritis and given treatment. Naturally, I thought that gastritis was back again and told my parents to get me medicine. I remember walking to my parents’ room, with clinched fists saying that I can’t breathe properly. I was 19.
I was taken to Asiri emergency and then I remember the doctor very calmly talking to my parents, until the ECG technician screamed “Doctor, Doctor”. The Doctor, who happened to be the mother of a classmate of mine, said “give Oxygen, give TNT immediately”. I knew what TNT was. That’s the medicine they give immediately to people who have had heart attacks. I remember my father’s face, so worried; I remember my mother’s face, sobbing, while I was put on to a stretcher and taken to the ICU. I remember seeing my Uncle Dr. Ananda Samarasekera and aunt there, having a long discussion with late Dr. Promodh Ranatunga around 2AM. Finally they came and told me that I had had a massive heart attack and I survived it probably because I was very young. There were so many doctors who came, spoke to me and tried to explain what had happened. But none of them could really say what caused the heart attack.
Over the next few days, I felt like a test subject. I saw the fear in the eyes of my parents, relatives and friends, not knowing what exactly was wrong with me. One of the doctors said, “You’re very lucky, if you were about 40 years old, you would be dead by now”. I asked the doctor “what should I do”. I was told “we don’t know if you would get this again or not, so all we can say is you should live your life”. Finally after 2 weeks in the ICU and an Angiogram later, they figured out that my heart was back in recovery and I would be just fine. And that ordeal changed how I wanted to live my life. I wanted explore the world; I wanted to do everything that would make me happy. 14 years on, I can say that I am happy and content living my life on my own terms.
Unfortunately, this girl here, whom I do not know at all, hasn’t been as lucky as I have been. Unlike me, she’s been given a time frame on her life span. She’s my age. But she has to fight a bigger fight than all of us. We worry about going out to drinks; we worry about what to wear to the party tonight. We worry about where to travel next. We worry about what fancy food to have. All she worries is about the impending doom if she doesn’t raise the funds necessary for her surgery.
I can’t force anyone to contribute anything towards an unknown person. But those who know me would know that I’m writing this because I can, to an extent empathize with her. We all complain that the world is too harsh on others. Here’s a chance for you to show your magnanimity and show humanity prevails. Please contribute whatever you can towards her surgery. Please remember likes don't save lives, your contributions would.