Education August 14, 2020
Aspiring doctor & singer, Sandra Somanath loves to juggle roles with ease
22-year-old Sandra Somanath from Tiruvalla in Kerala is pursuing her second year MBBS course at Alappuzha Medical College. Sandra was diagnosed with Brittle Bone disease when she was hardly eight months old. A passionate singer, this youngster is looking up to a bright future.
Sandra Somanath, 22 years old, was diagnosed with Brittle Bone Disease soon after birth. Being someone who has spent years in hospitals amidst doctors and the medical fraternity, Sandra developed an interest towards the medical profession. This determined youngster, amidst all odds, is now pursuing her second year MBBS at Alappuzha Medical College in Kerala. Sandra says that nothing can stop her from doing what her heart wants.
Sandra was born as a premature baby that led to health complications. Things were all right until she turned eight months old. When Sandra started crawling, she had her first fracture. Over time, she started crying frequently which worried her parents. That is when they consulted her to doctors who confirmed that she had Brittle Bone Disease. Her parents were shocked and completely unaware about the condition. But doctors made them understand what Brittle Bone disease was all about which gave the parents an ounce of relief and ray of hope.
Falling down and fracturing bones became part of Sandra’s life. So till class 4, she was home schooled and then decided to continue her studies in a mainstream school itself. Though she missed many classes owing to her health condition, Sandra made sure that she was up to date when it comes to academics.
She opted for Science in class 12, the first step towards chasing her MBBS dreams.
A MBBS aspirant
Sandra says, “I wanted to be an orthopedic doctor, but that would not happen with my physical condition and brittle bones”.
Getting admission into a medical college was not easy for Sandra who had a disability. “I had a fracture while attempting for the first time. But doctors gave me confidence to go ahead and I could crack the exams. I scored the 60th rank in all India medical entrance exam in disability category. In Kerala, I got the third rank”, she says.
But the real challenges lied ahead. Sandra had difficulties to walk while attending the interview of the medical board that happened at Trivandrum. “Some of them who sat there told me that I cannot pursue medicine because I have a disability. They tried to discourage me and told mean things to my father who had accompanied me. That hurt me a lot. I broke down into tears”, remembers Sandra.
But the other doctors in the panel stood up for her and approved her admissions.
Sandra, who is currently pursuing her second year MBBS says that academics is fine for her, but attending college regularly is not. She had to skip six months of her course because she did not have attendance as she couldn’t go to college after a fracture. “The university must understand our needs. I’am a person with disability who has physical challenges. Due to a fracture, I couldn’t attend classes for some time and they did not let me write exams stating that my attendance was less”, she says.
Someone who loves music, Sandra is a passionate singer too. She has sung at various events and has taken a break to concentrate fully on academics. “Fight for what you want and pursue your dreams”, she says.
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