Maybe death was a better alternative

A group of kids roaming the roads in the middle of the night. Barely out of high school. Traveling at more than a hundred kilometers per hour. Did they even have a license? Then out of the corner of his eye, something flashed. He swerved. They skidded. A crash. Newly scrapped metal wrapped itself round the old old tree.

The driver died. His three passengers seriously injured. All were intubated on the scene. They had to be extricated. Brain injury. Bilateral leg fractures. Multiple broken ribs. Dozens of abrasions.

One was flung out of the car. His body on the road, his legs in the car. He was still breathing. We terminalized his remaining limbs. We put him in ICU.

When i saw him on ward rounds the next morning, and we removed the thin sheet covering him, i could not help but recoiled silently at how short his body looked. A body without its lower limbs just does not look right. I cannot describe the horror. You need to see it for yourself to understand. He was still drowsy. We tested his sensation. Still the same. No sensation below his nipples. He has become a paraplegic. At fifteen years of age. I felt very sad for him. A whole new life wasted. And his was not a wealthy family.

Death would have been a more favourable outcome, but that’s just me.

With death, the driver has been absolved of all blame and guilt from the other families. But my condolences to the grieving family.

I am not a slow driver myself and many times friends and family have shrieked at me to slow down. Their advice always fell on deaf ears. It is remarkable how one person can change your entire life.


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