Dhara Shah, a woman from the small city of Savarkundla, Gujarat, whose life took an unexpected turn after her marriage in 2013. Her story is a remarkable journey of resilience and triumph. Dhara and her husband had a blissful married life and, like any couple, they eagerly planned to expand their family. In 2019, they welcomed their son, Mahir. However, what should have been a joyous occasion turned a lot more complicated.
Dhara's Journey To Crossing The Finish Line
“I was in a 27-hour labour and the hospitals didn't have any operation theatres available for C-sections.”
The head of Dhara’s baby was also stuck and hence they had to go ahead with a caesarean section. What followed was even worse. Right after Dhara saw her baby she fainted and had severe health issues, including postpartum haemorrhage. She experienced heavy blood loss and heart problems and was given a 90-minute CPR session.
“With a mere 5% chance of survival, I was in a coma for around 5-7 days.”
100+ blood products, water removal from lungs, kidney dialysis, she went through it all. After she was conscious she was told that her partial uterus and ovaries were removed. She even faced the additional threat of Gangrene, leading to the amputation of both legs below the knee, the right elbow, and part of the left hand.
“After enduring surgeries, skin grafts, and intense rehabilitation, I finally returned home after 4.5 months.”
Dhara met her baby after a long time but then she discovered that he had a genetic disorder. She chose not to lose hope and to embrace every moment she had with him. Determined to rebuild herself, both physically and emotionally, Dhara started outpatient rehab and worked on her body and physical strength. She would spend most of her time with her son. 5 months later, Mahir passed away. It was a very difficult time for her, especially the first week. She’d miss him often but his strength gave her strength and she decided to keep working on herself.
“In 2020, I finally stood up independently on my prosthetic legs.”
It was a big deal for Dhara and her family. Her husband was very happy about the same. In 2022, as she started to cook and walk by herself she even started a YouTube channel Documenting her daily life, inspirations, and challenges, Dhara became a ray of hope for many.
“I participated in a 5 km race in December 2023 and I crossed the finish line within an hour.”
Dhara's story reached new heights and realised that what is done is done, the future holds endless possibilities. Her incredible journey did not go unnoticed. Her inspiring story earned her the Women Empowerment Award in Dallas, Texas, a recognition of her courage, perseverance, and commitment to living life to the fullest despite the odds.
From facing despair to achieving her goals, Dhara has not only overcome challenges but has also emerged as a source of inspiration for many. Her story teaches us that setbacks can be opportunities for comebacks, and with determination, one can transform tragedy into triumph.
*This article is published in collaboration with L'Oréal Paris*