A domestic help, who survived a fall from the tenth floor of a
Doctors who treated Prateeksha Desai said three factors worked in her favour – one, she did not suffer any head injuries as she fell on her side, the right side of her body making impact with the car she fell on; two, despite multiple spinal cord fractures, there was no nerve damage; and three, the woman has the will of a mountain.
“Just the shock of plunging ten floors is enough to snuff the life out of mere mortals. But Prateeksha is obviously made of sterner stuff. You need will power to come out of something of this sort. And she has oodles of it,” said Dr Rajesh Chauhan, senior orthopaedic surgeon at St Elizabeth Hospital.
On the morning of August 30, Prateeksha was cleaning the windows at the Behls’ 10th floor penthouse in Rajniketan building when she slipped and fell. The fall shattered her pelvic bone, snapped her right leg at four points, dislocated her left shoulder, and fractured nine ribs.
She was rushed to Elizabeth Hospital, where doctors decided that she needed to be stabilised before even a CT scan could be run. She had lost a lot of blood and was unconscious. She was put on ventilator and was given three bottles of blood. Three hours later, when her vital parameters showed signs of stabilizing, the first CT scan was carried out. It revealed 24 fractures and two major dislocations – shoulder and pelvic.
The pelvic dislocation, Dr Chauhan told this newspaper on Tuesday, was a major concern. “There was a fracture as also dislocation. Fortunately, despite a fractured spinal cord, there was no nerve pinched. Our consultants concluded that the chances of paralysis were zero,” he said.
The hospital formed a team of ten doctors comprising neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, general surgeons, gynaecologists, anaesthetists, intensivists, and physicians. It was decided to carry out the multiple surgeries required to put Prateeksha back on her feet in three phases — fix the broken bones of her right leg, then move to the pelvic region, and finally focus on the spine.
On day three of her hospitalisation, Dr Chauhan and his team performed six surgeries to join the broken bones in her leg with titanium plates and screws. On Day nine, the crucial surgery on the dislocated pelvic bone was carried out by Dr Chauhan along with general surgeons
Her spinal fractures, however, did not require surgery. “Since there was no damaged nerve, we decided to let the fractures heal naturally. We will monitor her for two-three months and then take a call,” said Dr Chauhan.
Dr Janhavi Shah, medical director of the hospital, said Prateeksha has shown a lot of improvement in the past week. “She is now undergoing
On Monday, the team that attended to Prateeksha bid her a warm farewell on her discharge from the hospital. Everybody cheered and clapped as Prateeksha stood up without any assistance. Sister Sarla Macwan, the CEO of the hospital, said that apart from the hospital, Prateeksha’s employers too took good care of her.
Prateeksha has been with the Behls from the time she was 18. “She is like my daughter. I am happy and relieved that she has recovered,” said Mrs Behl.
Talking to Mumbai Mirror from her home in Kalyan she shares with her mother and two brothers, Prateeksha thanked St Elizabeth doctors and her employers for bringing her back from dead. “I barely remember what happened that morning. But it was a bad dream and I am happy it has ended,” she said.