Ashutosh Kaushal was in Class 8 when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leaukemia in 2011. And since then he is being treated at PGI, Chandigarh. With more time spent in a hospital ward than school, his schedule was not like any other student of his class, but he continued.
Five years later, though the prolonged treatment has weakened his vision, it failed to weaken his spirit. As CBSE declared the Class 12 results, here Saturday, Kaushal, a Medial student in Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, made his mark as one of the best achievers after scoring 82.4 per cent.
He was slated to appear for Class 12 exams last year, but three months before the exam, he suffered loss of vision. From purchasing additional table-lamp, to using magnifying lens, his family tried everything, but in vain. “I could not read a word from the textbook. I tried to study, but when it became extremely difficult, I had to drop the year,” he says.
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While his friends were appearing for exams, he was busy visiting the hospital for treatment.
After spending three months in PGI, he underwent eye- surgery in June to restore his vision.
Though, he can read books, but constant focus leaves him with a terrible headache, he says. He even cannot sit for long hours, as he feels fatigue and his back starts to hurt.
When asked, how he prepared for exams, he smiles and says, “The trick is to study selected topics in short intervals throughout the day. I used to study, whenever I got time, even when I was in the hospital I carried my books along, it helped. And, the school supported me.”
Kaushal who lives in staff quarters in Railway Colony along with his father, Satwinder Kaushal, a stenographer in Northern Railways, posted in Chandigarh, mother Mukta Kaushal and elder brother, Abhinav, 22 an Assistant Graphic Designer says that he aspires to pursue MBBS and become a doctor. “Orthopedician,” he quips. Talking about his inspiration, he breaks into a brief lull and says, “I was quite motivated by the dedication of doctors who carried my treatment in PGI, they inspired me.”
Principal Vineeta Arora is all praise for his efforts. She calls him one of the best achievers from the school. “He is a brave child, very resilient. He was diagnosed with Cancer five years ago, he also suffered a loss in vision. There were several hurdles, yet he performed so well. He tried to attend classes as much as he could. He is a true achiever.”
The family is proud of his achievement. “We are happy. We used to encourage him always. The disease took a toll on his health, but we never showed concern in front of him,” says his mother.