A Gift of Hope from “Joni and Friends”

Sunil Kumar Kushwaha is a 19-year-old man from a village in north Bihar. Three years ago, he was involved in a motorcycle accident and injured his spinal cord. From the nearby hospital, he was referred to a hospital in Delhi and after a brief period of rehabilitation, he returned home, facing the life-long challenge of being unable to stand and walk.

He said, “I had a lot of difficulty accepting myself and adjusting to my new circumstances. I felt helpless and fully dependent on my family even for small things. I was very uncomfortable and felt that my life was worthless. I attempted to kill myself twice, thinking that my life was meaningless and hopeless.

“One day I heard about the Spinal Cord injury (SCI) meeting at Duncan Hospital, Raxaul. So, I went there with my mother to participate in SCI meeting. Through these SCI meetings, I realized that I am not alone and I am inspired by my friends who are also having similar problems.

“After meeting others with spinal cord injuries, I began to feel more optimistic and cheerful. I enrolled in school, started my studies and passed. In spite of my challenges, I am preparing for my further studies and in order to start a career.

“Recently, I received a wheelchair from JONI & FRIENDS through Duncan Hospital. Now I am much more mobile and I can do a lot more. I have started earning money by tutoring children. This is also service for my community which helps children get a good education. People have started appreciating me and this brings joy to my soul.

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