By Priyanku K. Sarmah
Simran Singh Daddan could blame his fate for the wrong turns he took, the taxi driver who was driving in neutral that night to save fuel, the pitch black of the night due to which he was unable to see the car coming or even his inner craving for speed when he zoomed across that empty road on that unfaithful night in 2004! But after all he went through all he says is, “It was destined to happen.” Simran Singh Daddan’s story is an incredible tale of courage and determination, for he strived to survive in a situation where others would have easily given up and is a story which is in no need of being told as it speaks for itself.....
Simran, then a young student at a hotel management institute in Durgapur had come back to Shillong for his vacations after completion of his final semester; little did he know that he was never to go back either to his institute or the carefree life of a youth. Simran recalls, “It was almost 10 o’clock at night and we that is my cousin brother and I and, was returning on a bike from a relative’s place in Nongrim hills. When we were on the turn near the Ram Krishna Mission, all I could see was pitch dark ahead except whatever was highlighted by the headlight. Without much thought I zoomed into the turn but as my headlight swept across in the flick of a second there appeared a local taxi in front of me- in neutral and headlights switched off... following my instinct I immediately turned my bike towards the left and avoided a head on collision, but it sealed my fate as the taxi came and hit me directly. As my right foot took the blow, the bike went into a spin and my cousin was thrown off. Little did I realise how severe the accident was...
After we came to a halt, I tried to get up from where I was lying but couldn’t and fell back, I tried again and again but it didn’t make a difference. At last realising that i was fighting a losing battle, I literally dragged myself towards the footpath and sat there and called up my uncle and family.”
After his family reached Simran and his cousin, they were taken to the police station and admitted into Nazareth Hospital. He was operated on the very next day. The extent of his injuries was massive with a broken ankle that would later require six years to heal, along with a broken wrist and countless lacerations.
Simran’s cousin too suffered a fracture which healed in a couple of months. But Simran’s foot showed no such signs. After a couple of months, he again underwent surgery where a metal plate was inserted and this seemed to hold on for some time. But the pain was continuous and at last with no other option. He was taken to Delhi for further treatment.
By this time his foot was infected and he was once again rushed into surgery in Delhi where doctors removed the old plate and inserted a new titanium plate. But the infection showed no signs of subsiding. Doctors were left with no option other than to amputate or opt for a revolutionary Russian-oriented procedure where there would be springs driven through his feet, kept for the next 45 days. Opting for this, he once again underwent surgery.
Thinking of how he survived those 45 days would send chills down anybody’s spine. As he describes it: “I had to keep tightening and loosening the screws every 15 days and clean the dead cells out of the area every day, I had to do it all by myself.”
Simran was back in Shillong with the success following the operation. Today, he is like any other individual on the street but with a story to tell...
He grow up in the pine city, then pursue his degree in Hotel Management outside the state, on his completion of the courses he was even offered the teaching job in the city Hotel Management Institute, quite and introvert by nature, Simran have refused the offered, and opted to enhance his family business.
He is now helping with the family business and lives a normal life. But all the years of recovery and medication has landed him with pancreatitis which he says, would heal in another two to three years if he sticks to the proper regulations.
Simran said that throughout the recovery period, ‘support’ was the most important factor that kept him going which was provided by his family, his cousin sister Sukmani Kaur and his friends, Harsh Jhunjhunwala and Hubert.
He also added, it was his parents who have seen the fighter spirit in him, and keep encouraging him to go on in spite of various pressures coming from, both within the family and the business.
Talking of fighting spirit, he said, being a human being, there are times it was really difficult for him to go on, being helpless on his bed, while his family members are doing their best making sure he received the best of treatment, had once again provoke him to bear the pain and keep fighting and now he thank God and his parents for giving him this second life.
He says, “It happens sometimes in life but for the most part, it is important to know that tomorrow is a new day and ‘will’ is the only way out...”