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The Brave Quadruple Amputee Who Will Compete in the TCS World 10K

Shalini Saraswathi, 37, lost her limbs to a rare bacterial infection in 2013. But she hasn’t let that stop her. 

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Shalini Saraswathi, who lost her limbs to a rare infection, will be running the TCS World 10k this Sunday. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook page of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/shalini.saraswathi.7">Shalini Sarawathi</a>)

There are always those heartwarming stories that stay with you a long time after you read them.

This woman’s journey is probably one of them.

After fighting multiple-organ failure from a rare bacterial infection that cost her her limbs, Shalini Saraswathi, 37, is now all set to compete in the TCS World 10k in Bengaluru on Sunday, 15 May.

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It was in 2013 that a pregnant Saraswathi developed a mild fever, which eventually turned out to be Rickettsial with morts, a rare bacterial infection. She was told that she had a 5 percent chance of survival – but over the next few days, she managed to cheat the odds.

After losing her baby, she also lost her limbs when her condition deteriorated further, she writes in her blog, Soul Survived Intact.

The two-year stint involved meeting all kinds of doctors, trying every medicine, prayers and offerings to all gods in the world, until we accepted amputation was the only way forward with life.
Shalini Saraswathi in her blog


Shalini Saraswathi wrote this on her blog on the day her legs were to be amputated. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Shalini Saraswathi wrote this on her blog on the day her legs were to be amputated. (Photo: The Quint)
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Fighting all the odds and displaying exemplary courage and an indomitable spirit, Saraswathi decided to compete in the open category. She says she wants to inspire the differently-abled to live in the present, as reported by The Times of India.

It’s tough training under coach BP Aiyappa, who treats me like any normal person. In the beginning, I wanted to get away from it all; but now I’m enjoying it.
Shalini Saraswathi to The Times of India
Saraswathi has been extensively training for the TCS World 10K this Sunday. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook page of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/shalini.saraswathi.7">Shalini Sarawathi</a>)
Saraswathi has been extensively training for the TCS World 10K this Sunday. (Photo Courtesy: Facebook page of Shalini Sarawathi)
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37-year-old Saraswathi is a deputy general manager with Firstsource Solutions and will compete with the help of running blades loaned to her by Ottobock, a German company .

Shalini has been training under athletics coach BP Aiyappa, who says that he has never treated her like a disabled person.

“I was never lenient with her because she was differently-abled. Last Saturday , we did a 10k through the race route and I’m hoping she’ll finish the race on Sunday in around 90 minutes,” Aiyappa says.

“I lived each day at a time, made small achievable goals for myself, read every book I could lay my hands on and like my life depended on it, learnt classical music, looked forward to friends visiting – more than anything else hoped and believed that tomorrow will better… I knew tomorrow will beautiful because when you hit rock bottom, the only way for you is upwards!”

Shalini has now resumed working.

Her words are not only inspirational, but also a testimony to how people can overcome issues they never thought they could.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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