Shalini Saraswathi Motivational Speaker
Shalini Saraswathi is an Indian sportsperson who lost both her hands and legs, after falling ill from returning from Cambodia to a rare bacterial infection. She went on to defy all odds and went on to become an audacious blade runner. Hailing from Bengaluru and an engineer by profession, Shalini Saraswathi overcame some of the worst that life had in store for her, to achieve success in her professional life.
In 2013, when she was pregnant with her first child, and returning from her marriage anniversary celebration in Cambodia, Shalini developed a mild fever which worsened and Shalini was diagnosed to have developed an acute case of Rickettsial with morts - a rare bacterial infection.
The event changed her life within a few months. She was admitted to the ICU of a local hospital, and due to medical complications, she ended up lossing her baby, which she considers to be the biggest loss of her life.
True Fighters Never Give Up
Being a true warrior that she is, and having battled her loss, she fought her illness with all her will and determination, especially after gangrene attacked her left arm and it seemed almost certain that the doctors would need to amputate her arm.
Her left hand was amputated and a few months later her right hand dropped off on its own, but her struggle was far from over. Her legs fell developed gangrene next and needed to be amputated. It was during these testing times that Shalini drew on courage that only a true fighter could access.”
She tried to get back on her feet with the help of prosthetic legs and after fighting through it all, Shalini was finally able to walk for the first time in December 2014.
The Survivor, The Winner
But the warrior in her wanted to prove, not just to the world, but to herself, that she could do more than just walk.
Soon after taking her first few steps again, Shalini began training under coach BP Aiyappa at a local sports facility within Bengaluru. She began practicing for 90 minutes every morning, walking and doing related workouts.
After a two-year struggle, she began to run half marathons.
She said: “I was very clear about one thing – I wanted to get my life back in order. So, when I got my prosthetic limbs, I wanted to walk.
Running the 10-kilometer marathon was coach Aiyappa’s idea. He had major plans for her even while Shalini couldn’t walk properly.
Shalini said: “We talked about running for six months and I had to make a whole lot of sacrifices, but I’m glad I could do it. For me, it was about taking control of my body. I wanted to do this because I had smelled my body rot when I was sick.”
Shalini’s husband Prashanth Chowdappa supported her throughout her medical condition and helped her being hopeful about life.
He said: “The doctors used to remove the dead cells to clean without any anesthetic and she would cry in pain. That’s when they would realize that those were living cells.
After she got her life back on track, Shalini found her new love for running marathons. She just wanted to run and be fit enough to complete a marathon.
She said, “I feel great while I run. It gives me motivation. I want to go bigger and participate in marathons across the world,” she said.
“But for now, it is all about standing up on my own legs and take one step at a time."
As a Motivational speaker, Shalini uses her harrowing experiences and life-changing events that she battled through, to make the audience realize that while you may feel that all is lost and that there is no hope, that’s when you should learn to dig deep and find that extra something, to find the determination and strength to achieve the impossible. She also helps people realize that hardships and battles leave scars that make you stronger and tougher and make you access a side that you thought never existed.
To book Shalini Saraswathi, a motivational speaker for your event simply complete the online form. For more information regarding any of the Inspiring Women Speakers on our roster contact Simply Life India Speakers Bureau on +91 8652835000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the day my legs had to be amputated, I wore a bright shade of nail polish as I went to the hospital. If my legs were going, they were going to go out in style!