Doctors Said Bengaluru Boy Won’t Walk After His Spinal Injury. He Proved Them Wrong In 3 Years!

Life is like a card game. Sometimes, you’re dealt a really crappy hand. Other times, your hand’s a clear winner. And sometimes, despite your shitty cards, you turn your luck around and win the game. Because impossible isn’t the end.

This is the story of Prateek Khandelwal, a regular 20-something from Bengaluru, living a close to perfect life.

He was everything a young man his age would aspire to be—a well-educated, well-settled businessman surrounded by friends and family who loved him and a special someone that could soon be something more.

But on the fateful day of May 30, 2014, an accident altered the course of Prateek’s life altogether.

Prateek was in an under-constructed structure with a friend when he fell down a flight of stairs and landed one floor below.

Two weeks and multiple surgeries later, Prateek was alive, but his life had changed forever. A T12 Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) was what would define his life from now on.

But a crippling paralysis was only the start of Prateek’s problems. SCI comes with a host of other conditions that would plague him for the rest of his life.

At first, he thought a six-month recovery was on the cards.

However, even before the doctors could prepare him for it, Prateek began realising what he was actually up against—loss of sensation below-waist, bladder and bowel movement issues, atrophy leading to loss of muscle mass, and a lot more.

He felt dejected and secluded himself from everyone in his life.

“You start wondering if your entire life has to be based around the wheelchair and you are sucked in by depression and sadness.”

Prateek’s initial efforts to regain movement were ongoing. 15 months after the accident, the progress was still minimal. But an unusually good day out prompted Prateek to rethink his strategy.

He was training, undergoing physiotherapy, but was still dependent on a wheelchair, which was often the reason he preferred not to socialise much.

And then one day, he decided to meet a friend, outside at a local restaurant, and spent over 4 hours having the best time he had had in years!

“I said to myself, ‘Dude, this guy was missing. I was always this guy and this guy has been really missing’. I realized how I had always loved going out and I loved meeting people. And I realized that how I have been a social recluse because neither did I know if I am willing to take my wheelchair life out in public nor did the people around know how to catch up with me. But then I had to change it. And the change had to start from me.”


Through the force of sheer determination and his iron-clad will, Prateek jumped into his recovery. He believed in one thing and one thing alone: Recovery from a spinal cord injury was possible!

Little victories were celebrated, and every minor progress was documented for a morale boost.

He began making little efforts around the house, exercising to gain strength in his muscles.

He even began hanging out more with family and friends.

But not all days were good. Not every feat was easily achieved.

“I have had a lot of bad days. There have been days and there are days where my body doesn’t function that well, my exercises aren’t as good, I can’t walk as well. And those bad days were made worse because I used to be in bad moods for days together. But then I learnt that I can’t let such days disturb my momentum of recovery. So I stopped over analyzing and over thinking and started focusing on how I can turn a bad day into a good one. Its all a state of mind in the end, isn’t it?”

And the results were astonishing! Prateek, once confined to a wheelchair and facing a gamut of problems with simple bodily functions, was now holding his own. And might we add, remarkably well!

He now manages the marketing aspects of his business.

Prateek can do every other task like you can, but maybe with a little more enthusiasm. Like shopping!

He can even stand without external support, except for his family’s constant support without which he could never have come this far!

As for his friends, they’ve got the old fun-loving friend back! This is Prateek with his gang at a close friend’s wedding!

They say, ‘God helps those who help themselves’. You may call it God’s miracle, but knowing how hard this young man has worked to be able to stand, independently on his own two feet, you would rather call it Prateek’s success story, wouldn’t you?

“So many times in our lives we fail to take on the challenge life throws at us because we are too scared to fail. Our insecurities rule our mind. The fear of failure and the consequences that come along with it block any constructive thought process. But let me tell you that once you realize the magic of that inner power and the kind of things you can achieve with it, you will be a different person altogether. Find that power. Realize it. Use it. Challenge yourself and extract ample self-confidence out of your daily wins. This is what will always keep you going.”


Truer words have never been spoken! Kudos to you, Prateek, for reclaiming your life and daring to live it to the fullest!

You can watch Prateek’s inspiring journey of recovery here.

📣 Storypick is now on Telegram! Click here to join our channel (@storypick) and never miss another great story.