In the face of an insurmountable challenge, Rickson Pancham has maintained that his mindset will help him achieve the impossible.
After an accident left him paralysed, he’s been to the brink and back.
Speaking to Guardian Media at his Balmain, Couva home yesterday, Pancham explained the horrific accident that changed his life forever.
He said, “I just went with some friends to buy food, I didn’t know it would have been the last time I would have walked again. Coming back home after we bought food, the car run off the road and ended up turning over on me. I was pinned and unconscious.”
In that instant, the then-19-year-old aspiring cricketer would commence a long and winding journey that would test his mental tenacity.
He explained, “I spent four years at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. I lay down straight like a pin, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do nothing. They did an operation on my neck, they put a nut and bolt, it got slack, then they put one behind my neck and that is how I was able to talk.”
Today, several trophies that line Pancham’s television stand only remind him of his glory days in sport. They are memories, he said, that continue to barrel through his mind as he lays trapped in his body.
While he grapples to spend his days out of despair, the thoughts of small mercies afforded to him are enough to lift his spirits.
“Many people won’t know how frustrating it does be. Only the Lord have me living here, my father, my sisters and them does take care of me. Just a few people does help me, but I grateful. Positive thoughts keep me going. People does think they have it hard but they don’t know how tough it is for me, how sad my life has become, but I am not giving up,” he said.
Unfortunately, Pancham explained that his case is not one where a little goes a long way.
“I only get a little disability grant. I used to get a food card but not anymore. I does have to pay a doctor to put the catheter in my bladder and to get a little check-up. My medical expenses at the end of the month can be as high as $3000. I does try, I does really try, it is hard and I try not to complain but so many things does just make it hard. I does wish if anyone can help me, nothing big, if it’s something small I will appreciate that,” Pancham noted.
Pancham is now pleading to not be forgotten, as tough times have compounded his situation and as his 36th birthday dawns, his one wish is to be able to help others.
He said, “I does want to get up to walk, to show the youths a little sport, a little cricket, I could show anybody a little sport. If I could get up to walk with a stick, I’d be thankful “
With the odds seemingly stacked against him, the once avid cricketer is determined not to be bowled out.
Anyone wishing to assist Pancham can contact him at 378 0405.