PUTRAJAYA: Even in great pain, S. Sivasangari remained positive.
The 23-year-old Sivasangari said she was not giving up on her squash career despite head and spinal injuries caused by strong impact from a car accident at the Maju Expressway in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Doctors have given her three months to recover.
“She was conscious, I spoke to her and her parents. Her parents are positive. Sivasangari is positive. I am impressed with our doctors in Putrajaya Hospital because they were quick and efficient in identifying what Sangari needed,” said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu yesterday.
“As a youngster, she has a strong spirit and will recover quickly. We pray for that to happen. She spoke but didn’t have long conversations. She responded by saying that she is still positive. I told her to be strong.”
The car she was in, which is a Proton Saga BLM, crashed into the back of a one-tonne lorry. The driver of the car and the lorry driver were left unscathed from the incident.
A report from the Fire and Rescue Department said the accident was reported at about 3.46am and they arrived at the location at 4.12am. The vehicle had caught fire and Sivasangari was pulled out of the car.
Sivasangari suffered head and spine injuries, particularly in the C1 area.
Doctors monitoring her said she was in stable condition.
Faizal did not want anyone to speculate as the cause of the accident was not known yet but wanted all to pray for her quick recovery.
“I wouldn’t want to ask the cause of the accident. Let’s not talk about it. Let’s focus on her recovery,” he said.
“We must assess a few things because of the head injury, so there will be thorough monitoring for the next 24-48 hours.”
With the unfortunate incident, Sivasangari is out of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next month, where she has been appointed as the flag-bearer alongside para-athlete Bonnie Bunyau Gustin.
Just before the mishap, Sivasangari lifted the national title to underline her status as the country’s top player. Before arriving in Malaysia for her Commonwealth Games preparations, she had performed in the Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments and collegiate events in the United States.
She is currently ranked 19th in the world and was targeted as a medal prospect for the individual and doubles events in Birmingham.
Faizal advised athletes participating in the Commonwealth Games to be mindful and only go out if it was necessary.
“I would advise them to be careful, especially now that it is nearing the Games. We do not want any untoward incidents to happen. Please do not get out unless it is necessary.
“We’re upset that we can’t see Sivasangari hoisting the flag and competing. But right now, we want to make sure she returns stronger.”