Tag: Jonathan Sigworth
Nikhil Kumar Guptaa uses wheelchair rugby as a therapeutic tool and provides a transitional living program to quadriplegic patients
It is believed that to achieve success in life one needs to be physically and mentally fit. But Nikhil Kumar Guptaa’s inspiring story will tell you that the will to achieve is equally important along with strength. A software engineer by profession, Nikhil met with an accident that left him paralysed in 2008. His world almost came to a dead-end but he did not let his will to survive die. “The doctors told me that quadriplegic patients like me will always be dependent on others to do their day-to-day activities,” shares Nikhil.
A cycling injury that rendered him a quadriplegic nine years ago also inspired Jonathan Sigworth to create an organization that helps people with spinal cord injuries in India live fuller lives. A self-described disability advocate, filmmaker, and social entrepreneur, Sigworth shared his story with students during a December 2 talk sponsored by the Christian Fellowship club.
Sigworth is co-founder of Empowering Spinal Cord Injured Persons (ESCIP) Trust India, a nonprofit organization based in Delhi that uses wheelchair rugby as a therapeutic tool and provides a transitional living program to quadriplegic patients. The organization relies on a peer mentoring approach. “Our goal is to get quadriplegics to think of themselves as whole people again, independent and able to find jobs and live in the community,” said Sigworth.
Ever since he was little, Jonathan Sigworth wanted to make movies. As a kid, he would make home movies with his LEGO pieces. Through high school, Sigworth and his friends made amateur horror films for fun. However, when the Connecticut teen went to study at a school in India located at the foot of the Himalayas, his own life turned into a horror movie.
While biking to class one February morning, Sigworth fell from a 70 ft. cliff. He landed very close to a hospital and some of its employees saw him in pain — which is possibly the only reason he survived. The accident crushed Sigworth’s spinal cord between the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae, leaving him without feeling in his fingers and below his arms. Slowly, he learned to re-assemble his way of life.