It was just another day with long hours of travelling for 39- year-old Dr Onkita Adhikary, when she boarded a bus Belegavi to Bangalore. However, her journey didn’t end all well. On September 16th, the NWKRTC luxury bus in which Dr Onkita was travelling met with an accident on the outskirts of Haveri at 1:00 am. The bus had crashed into a sugarcane-laden lorry. The impact of the collision was so much that several passengers got injured.
Due to the intense collision, Dr Onkita was left unconscious, and when she woke up around 1:15 am there was chaos all around her.
Having met with an accident in a bus full of strangers, in a different land, can be horrific. However, Dr Onkita’s skill in local Kannada came to her aid. “I tried to move my legs and arms and I realized I had multiple fractures. Luckily, I remembered a little bit of Kannada and started asking for help in the local language,” said Dr Onkita recollecting the incidents from the night.
“I asked a co passenger to dial my phone number and to my luck my phone started ringing. I quickly called my husband and first thing I asked him was to find out and tell me any hospital that would have an orthopaedic surgeon,” she added.
Dr Onkita along with an old man were taken to Haveri District Hospital. By then, Dr Onkita’s husband had found a hospital near to where she was and since she knew the district hospital would not have the required facilities to treat her injuries, she spoke to ambulance driver and asked him to take her to the other hospital.
The Hospital was around 76 kms from the site of the accident and she reached there by 4 am. Her husband, a scientist in ISRO arrived by that time and shifted her to Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur by 1:30 pm.
“When Dr Onkita came to us, she had 21 fractures on both her lower limbs and right upper limb with blunt injuries on her chest and abdominal area. Moreover, she came to the hospital over 12 hours after the incident and the golden hour was long past. However, she was lucky that there were no disastrous complications due to the shift from one hospital to the other,” said Dr, Shankar R Kurpad, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgery, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur.
Dr Onkita had to make at least 5 visits to the Operation Theater due to her multiple fractures. She was also on physiotherapy from the day she arrived in the hospital. This was necessary initially for the chest then forearms and knees. It’s been 33 days since she’s been hospitalized but is now doing much better. Dr Onkita’s presence of mind and her determination to survive such an incident is truly an inspiration to all.