Changanassery: Polio could only cripple his legs but not his life. Today, Dr TC Thomas, who works as a doctor at the Employees State Insurance (ESI) hospital in Vadavathoor drives on his own to the workplace in his car.
After having fought polio valiantly, on this International Polio Day, he has a message for others. "If you are affected by the disease don’t just get cowed down by it and lead a dejected life. Face it courageously."
Thomas was infected with disabling and life-threatening polio when he was just one and a half years old. Both his legs had turned very weak due to the infection. While under treatment, the doctor who was taking care of him, once said, "He will study hard and become a doctor one day." Those words later turned prophetic quite literally.
Even after bringing little Thomas back home, the words of the doctor kept ringing in his mother's ears all the time. She repeated those sentences while bringing up her son.
During school days, Thomas used to pillion ride on brothers bicycles. After schooling, Thomas joined pre pre-degree second group at the SB College with the firm objective of becoming a doctor. His college trips then began on buses. Teachers, friends and college staff used to help him climb up and down the upper storey of the building.
Thomas passed MBBS from Alappuzha Medical College and worked as a tutor in the same institution for two years. In 1994 he entered the insurance medical services. In the meanwhile, Thomas did an MD in general medicine from Kottayam Medical College.
Now he drives his own car after some alterations made in the clutch to help drive the vehicle smoothly. For walking, he uses a crutch.
He resides at Kurichi near Swami Kavala. Both his daughters have followed in his footsteps and they were given all support by his wife Priya. One of the daughters Dr Olivia is doing MD in Government Medical College Tirunelveli and the younger one Julia is a final year MBBS student at the Government Medical College Kottayam. The youngest one, Flavia is also preparing to get into MBBS like her father and sisters.