I Almost Died…And I’m Grateful

Papa CJ
4 min readDec 4, 2022

In 2019 I had a major accident. I was on a motorcycle expedition in Ladakh (in the Himalayas) when my brakes malfunctioned. The bike skidded, went off the road and down the hillside. I landed on a bed of rocks and a 200kg motorcycle flew in the air and landed on top of me.

When I awoke from my black out, I found the entire motorcycle covering my entire body, with the front wheel spinning inches from my face. When I was lifted up, we learned that both the bones between my left knee and ankle had snapped into two pieces. We were a six hour drive away from the closest place where our mobile phones could get any reception.

I was taken to the closest village, where some cardboard was put under my leg and it was taped up. I was then driven to Leh, airlifted to Delhi the next morning and operated on the next afternoon. A metal rod was put in my left leg. Two weeks later, we learned that my right wrist, which was in cast, had also broken, and so I underwent another surgery to put a metal plate and six screws in my right hand.

The recovery of the leg was the most painful thing I have ever been through. I’d have hours of excruciating pain every night which no painkiller could fix. I had to just cover my entire leg with ice for hours on end while involuntarily screaming in agony. A feather touch on my left foot felt like acid was being poured on it. I was unable to button my shirt, unable to go to the washroom myself and unable to even hold a spoon.

I had to learn how to walk again. I went from wheelchair to two crutches, to one crutch, and then slowly started walking again. I will not regain full functionality in both wrist and leg, because as my surgeon rightfully pointed out, ‘Man cannot give you what God gave you’.

I am incredibly grateful.

I’m grateful that my bone didn’t cut through my skin during my accident in the remote Himalayas, because if it had, I would have bled to death.

I’m grateful that I was wearing safety gear from head to toe because my entire body had been sandwiched between rocks and metal. The leg broke due to a spiral fracture (when it gets twisted) and the wrist broke because of the gap between the safety jacket and the gloves.

Papa CJ

Professional comedian. Published author. Disappointing lover. Oxford MBA. Executive coach. Website: http://papacj.com. Newsletter: http://papacj.substack.com.