17-Year-Old Gymnast Brijesh Is Battling Death and Needs Your Help

17-Year-Old Gymnast Brijesh Is Battling Death and Needs Your Help

Sports

This time last year, 17-year-old gymnast Brijesh Yadav was preparing for the national school championship in Agra. He had won silver. This year while preparing for gold, he broke his upper spine when he missed a step while completing an element called “Double front” and landed on his neck.

What does the body go through when the upper spine snaps?

Pain so severe that it instantly paralyses the limbs, breathing gets laborious and the heart rate slows down to a dangerous level, says Dr Ankush Garg at Gurgaon’s Paras Hospital. The senior spine surgeon says 60 to 70% such patients die on the spot or on the way to the hospital.

Brijesh suffered injury in the C3 and C4 vertebrae, part of the spine that protects the central nervous system, says Dr Ankush. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Brijesh suffered injury in the C3 and C4 vertebrae, part of the spine that protects the central nervous system, says Dr Ankush. (Photo: The Quint)

After two back-to-back surgeries that lasted nearly eight hours, Brijesh is slowly showing signs of recovery. But he remains critical and needs ventilator support.

The sooner he’s off the ventilator, the better. Yesterday, within 24 hours of the surgery, we started reducing ventilator support and he responded, which is a good sign. We still need to see if he’s showing any neurological recovery.
Dr Ankush Garg

As of now, there’s no way of knowing if Brijesh will be able to move on his own again.

Chandrabhan Yadav&nbsp;
Chandrabhan Yadav 

Brijesh’s father, Chandrabhan Yadav is a level IV government employee, who earns around Rs 15,000 a month. He can’t afford the treatment that runs into lakhs.

Surgery alone costs between Rs 4 to 6 lakh. Such patients are required to stay in hospital for around a month. This can cost an additional Rs 5 to 6 lakh. The total expenditure is about Rs 10 lakh, maybe even higher.
Dr Ankush Garg

Brijesh’s coaches – Arvind Yadav and Rahul Chopra – have been relentlessly seeking funds for the budding gymnast who dreams of representing India one day. They’ve managed to collect Rs 4.5 lakh so far which is not even half the amount required.

Brijesh is a happy child, he laughs easily, says Rahul Chopra. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Brijesh is a happy child, he laughs easily, says Rahul Chopra. (Photo: The Quint)
Brijesh would call himself Baahubali after he saw the movie and make the younger gymnasts laugh.
Rahul Chopra, Brijesh’s coach

Arun Yadav, who was the first to spot and hone Brijesh’s talent, was present on the day he fell. “I did everything to ensure he was at the nursing home within 15 minutes. But the doctors there said they didn’t have the facilities to treat him. That’s when we took the decision to move him and I initiated the donation drive”, he says.

The initial requirement of Rs 1.5 lakh was fulfilled by Agra’s Regional Sports Officer Chanchal Mishra, who prevailed on the District Magistrate to tap into a special reserved fund for sportspersons.

Since Monday, social workers, businessmen and good samaritans have come together to donate money for Brijesh’s surgery.

In Delhi, Sunita Rana whose daughter is also a gymnast who’s competed against Brijesh is helping raise funds along with her husband Nauhar.

We’ve asked people to forward us messages they get from the banks after they’ve made the transfer so it’s easy for us to keep a track on who is donating how much. It’s touching to see people with an account balance of just Rs 15,000 have donated Rs 5,000.
Sunita Rana

But a lot more needs to be done. If you wish to help Brijesh, you can donate to:

State Bank of India A/C # 10974732920 in the name of Hardeep Singh. IFSC Code- SBIN0000602

Since Brijesh’s father does not own a bank account, athletics coach Hardeep Singh offered to have the money donated in his bank account. This money is being tracked and transferred to Regional Sports Officer Chanchal Mishra, who is an employee of the Uttar Pradesh government.

You can call the following numbers for any clarifications:

Chanchal Mishra, Regional Sports Officer: 9415053961

Rahul Chopra, Brijesh’s coach: 9450309926

Arun Yadav, Brijesh’s ex-coach: 9415692050

Help spread the light this Diwali.

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)

Sports
Subscribe to
The Daily Newsletter
News and Other Updates