Almost 12 years ago, Mathew K Antony, a young photographer who operated a studio in Parumala, Kerala, had a life-altering accident. He was riding his motorcycle home when a stray dog darted in front of him, forcing him to swerve and crash, resulting in severe head injuries. Unbeknownst to him, this accident would dramatically change the course of his life and aspirations.

Over the next 12 years, Mathew, a resident of Uzhathil in Pathanamthitta district, remained bedridden with limited mobility. His financially disadvantaged family, including his father, mother, and younger brother, pooled nearly ₹1 crore to finance his treatment at three different hospitals, hoping for his recovery and return to a normal life. However, on a Saturday morning, those hopes were shattered as Mathew’s condition suddenly deteriorated, leading to his passing at the age of 38.

“Until the previous night, he was okay and talking normally. Suddenly, in the morning, his blood count went down, and sodium levels started falling. Before we could reach the hospital, he died. He held our mother’s hand as he took his last breaths,” said Aji Antony, Mathew’s brother.

The tragic accident occurred on October 25, 2011, when Mathew was just 25 years old. He suffered severe brain injuries and trauma when his motorcycle accident near the Pandanad Illimala bridge took place while he was returning home from his studio.

“He was a very good photographer and graphic designer. He had a lot of dreams in life,” remarked Robin K Jose, the local panchayat ward member who was acquainted with Mathew and his family.

Following the accident, Mathew remained in a coma for 85 days at a private hospital. It took nearly a year for him to regain consciousness, according to Aji. “He was admitted to at least three hospitals in different periods for at least six years, which led to some improvements. Though he could not stand or walk, he regained his memory and was able to talk and use his phone,” Aji stated.

“My father and mother went to great lengths to take care of him. They ensured that he did not have a single bed sore,” Aji added.

Jose mentioned that despite his physical limitations and health issues, Mathew remained active on the phone and regularly sent messages. “He often told me to pray for him. Mathew really wanted to live, but sadly it was not to be,” Jose lamented.

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