Hit-and-run victim hopes to walk again

Reaching out: (From left) Jayakumar and Dr Thilagavathi presenting the mock cheque and medical items to Nathankumar. Also present are Saraswathy (in purple), Daivaanai and Paranjothi.

LORRY driver S. Nathankumar is determined to walk again after a hit-and-run accident last month left him bedridden.

The 28-year-old who underwent spinal cord surgery on March 20, which was funded by various individuals and organisations, is now able to sit up for about 20 minutes.

His sister S. Saraswathy, 33, said Nathankumar was under a two-month observation by his doctors following the surgery.

“Our family, his wife K. Daivaanai and his three children have been motivating and praying fervently for him to walk again,” she said after the family received a RM12,750 mock cheque from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Indian Alumni at the Gleneagles Penang on Sunday.

Nathankumar was heading home on his motorcycle when he was hit by a vehicle in Lubuk Buntar, Kedah, on March 10.

His two family members went looking for him after he did not return home and found him on the roadside more than two hours after the accident.

The UKM alumni also presented him with a wheelchair, ripple mattress and cushion for the wheelchair costing RM2,100 which was part of the RM12,750 given to the family.

The alumni’s representative S. Jayakumar said the group comprising 100 members sprang into action after reading that the family could not afford the surgery.

“We posted the story and family pictures in our WhatsApp group and raised the sum within two days. Some outsiders also chipped in after we posted the family’s plight in Facebook,” he said.

Jayakumar said the alumni decided to help the family as part of the group’s outreach programme.

Universiti Malaya Faculty of Languages and Linguistics deputy dean Dr Thilagavathi Shanmuganthan, who is an alumni member, said some students gave RM350.

“I’m touched that the students wanted to help the family even though they are not working,” she said.

Penang Hindu Association secretary S. Pa-ranjothi, who helped coordinate the donation drive, thanked The Star and the alumni for publicising the case.

“We got calls from people staying even in Indonesia, Singapore and London,” he said.

Paranjothi said the public donated about RM100,000 into the association’s bank account.

He said members of the public gave about RM75,000 directly to the family including via Saraswathy’s bank account.

“I’m told that the hospital also received about RM45,000 from the public,” he said.

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