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Indian Hospital

Patient: Prabhu Partha Sarthy

The 30-year-old has motor neurone disease but is determined to live out whatever time he has well.

Last updated: 03 May 2012 16:27
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Prabhu has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease but is determined to live the remainder of his life to the full

Thirty-year-old Prabhu Partha Sarthy is in an unenviable situation. He is a very Indian example of self-help and not giving in where others might.

After a normal active childhood, at the age of 15 Prabhu began experiencing strange symptoms, including falling down without warning.

After trying every possible remedy, including traditional medicines, faith healers and some dubious hospitals he was eventually diagnosed with motor neurone disease - a slow and cruel disease that only ends in death and from which there is no reprieve.  

As the effects of the disease have grown worse over the past 15 years, Prabhu has lost the use of his legs and his world is now reduced to a second-storey room on top of his parents' flat in Bangalore. He is either confined to his wheelchair or has to be carried downstairs on a friend's back.

This situation would break most people and in the early years of the disease he did unsuccessfully attempt suicide.

And now to make matters worse, Prabhu's eyesight is failing to the stage where he has had to give up his job at a call centre - a job that provided an income his family relied upon.

The Narayana Hrudayalaya Eye Hospital has come to the rescue but it is not all good news - Prabhu needs two cornea transplants to regain his vision.

In India, there is no culture of cornea donations, mainly for religious reasons, and Prabhu may have to wait months to find a suitable donor.

Although it seems to be a hopeless situation, Prabhu makes the best of it. He is mentally strong and determined to live out whatever time he has left well. With the help of friends, he has made a film about his disease. He also plays in a band.

His spirit is inspiring as he faces his fears about the transplants and his future.


Watch six one-hour episodes of a unique observational documentary Indian Hospital offering a rare insight into the complexities and dilemmas of modern India.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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