26-years-old Aicha Aghoura from Algeria is brimming with life; one look at her and you would never guess that she suffered a debilitating injury that had been crippling her for over five years.
Back in 2013, one unfortunate evening when she was on her way back from college, she was involved in a road accident. This accident resulted in major injuries to her back and head. Luckily for her, she was rushed to a nearby hospital on time. Aghoura who was 22 at the time, was in critical health and in need of special medical assistance. She was kept in the ICU for 2 days. Thanks to expeditious medical attention and the prayers of her loved ones Agoura finally opened her eyes after 2 days. However, this joy was short-lived; Aghoura would no longer be able to walk for rest of her life. The lower half of her body was paralyzed due to severe spinal injury. The hardest part of the ordeal was to tell happy-go-lucky Aghoura this sad news.
“It was a massive shock to hear this, but it’s quite difficult to know how you should react. It was surreal to be told “she can’t walk” when she was fine 2 days before this accident”, said Kella, Aghoura’s aunt. A crestfallen Aghoura couldn’t believe the incident as she unfolded, “I was praying that all this was a nightmare, but the reality was that I had to live with this for the rest of my life and I was slowly seeing my dreams crumbling”.
Over the next few years, Aghoura’s family left no stone unturned in finding a palpable solution to fix their child’s problem. They fixed multiple appointments with doctors in Algeria with the hope to see their child one day walk again. The days turned into months and years, Aghoura was bedridden and completely dependent on her aunt to go from one place to another. From 2013 to 2018, the challenging days passed by, and through this entire ordeal, the family never lost hope. “I had heard somewhere that there are many best neurosurgeons in India. India was my final hope; however, the language barrier was always a concern and a cause for greater hesitation in taking this mammoth step. However, when I heard that a company in India was there to help us and most of all they could speak French, I was filled with joy and a huge sigh of relief.” In the days that followed Kella approached Vaidam’s French Patient Relations team to discuss all that has transpired over the last few years.
After narrating the condition of her niece, Kella shared medical tests (done in Algeria). Within a few hours, a French-speaking health consultant sent her quotations - this included 10 best neurology hospitals in India and doctors who could handle Aghoura’s case all within the family’s budget. From the array of hospitals, Kella decided to get the treatment from Neurogen Brain and Spine Institute, Mumbai and after speaking to the doctor, Aghoura was recommended to undergo Stem Cell Therapy.
Meanwhile, the patient relations team quickly got into action and within a span of one week made all the necessary arrangements like the medical visa, tickets and convenient accommodation in Mumbai. The team also made relevant appointments with Dr. Alok Sharma on 16 February. “My treatment started on the very first day of my visit and I was hospitalized for 7 days. For first two days, rehabilitation team has done complete evaluation and muscle charting. On the third day, actual stem cell therapy was done and for rest of days, I was on intensive neuro-rehabilitation. When I came to India, I couldn’t feel my legs but in few days of this treatment, I was able to stand on my feet. My health is improving day-by-day and now with the help crutch stick I can walk few steps. Plus, in this treatment, I have learned few medical terms too.”
“Seeing my baby walking again was a miracle for me. I was losing hope but Vaidam team and Dr. Sharma came like a blessing”, said Kella while wiping her teary eyes. “I thought I will never get normal but I’ve won my war. Thanks to my aunt, Vaidam team and Dr. Sharma to helping me to stand on legs again”, says Aghoura with big smile.