My First Goal
Vijayan Chetty was injured in a car accident in 2005 aged only 22. Vijayan’s accident resulted in a T complete spinal cord injury, leaving him paraplegic and hospitalised for 3 months. After spending another 3 months in a rehabilation centre, Vijayan was sent home a new man. We caught up with him to share his story with us.
How did you sustain your spinal cord injury?
I went out for supper at Gateway Mall with two close friends who I considered to be my brothers. On our way back home after
a night of fun and laughs, we were involved in a head on collision with another vehicle. I was seated at the back of the bakkie and as a result was thrown out on impact and landed many metres away in a bush. Both my friends died that night.
What was your first thought after the accident?
I was just thinking about getting home before my mum noticed that I was out so late, I was only 22 years old and did not even think that my friends had just passed away. I didn’t think my injuries were so serious, all I thought about was going to hospital for a couple hours and rushing back home. Then the doc broke the news that I have a spinal cord injury, at the time I had very little understanding of what exactly that meant. I was crushed when the doc said that I had a 1% chance of walking. My whole life was turned upside down, I was busy making plans to go the U.K with the very same friends that were involved in the accident.
What further goals did you set yourself after the accident?
The first goal I set was to find a job and complete my 3rd and final year of a Graphic designing diploma , which I did. Next on my list was to start driving as I soon realised that been in a wheelchair meant that it was extremely difficult to get from one place to the next without a car. I had a very rough 1st year though and suffered with depression. I finally plucked up the courage and made my mind up to use all my strength to get back on track and started making new plans.
What are the most positive aspects in your life?
The accident made me realise how precious life is and I value all the support that I was given by my family and friends, So, I now have the never give up attitude. The most positive thing I would say is that I have been given a new lease of life and want to make difference in other people’s lives. I am very happy to be alive and independent as there came a stage in my life after the accident when I thought I would never be happy again.
What are your dreams for the future?
I would like to have my own graphic designing company one day which would give me more time to focus on building relationships and helping disabled communities out there. Maybe one day, I will have a whole lot of disabled individuals working for me. I would also like to get more actively involved in wheelchair sport.