Crazy Speed
by Asma Salim Al-Shandoudi
Third Year Premedical Student, Oman Medical College
Before October 15, 2002, Khalid was having as normal a life as any youngster who was studying in high school. He was able to go out with his friends, go to his school, and do everything he wanted to do. However, that evening, everything changed. Khalid became another person who could not complete his education, walk on his legs, or even know where he was. He was between life and death.

However, God decided to give him a new life and for me to do this interview with him four years after the accident. I was really nervous because I was afraid that my questions might annoy him. However, when I saw his shining eyes and his bright smile, I felt comfortable asking him the questions that follow.

Tell me about your situation.
I am a hemiplegic (half or partially paralyzed). I have hemiplegia in the left side of my body.

How did you become a hemiplegic?
I was driving my car at a very high speed, which made me unable to control the car, so I crashed into another car.

Were you the only one hurt in that accident?
No, it was a serious accident. One of my relatives died, and the man in the other car had very serious injuries.

Do you have a normal life?
I have a normal life, and I do not have any problems.

How did you get over these troubles and return back to your normal life?
My first step was the hope to be treated or at least to become better so that I could depend on myself rather than depending on others. My hope forced me to start a long treatment. I went to many places in and out of Oman to get treatment.

Then, I started my second step. I was receiving treatment in the UAE. My aunt was living in Dubai, so I stayed with her while I was completing treatment there. Her son encouraged me to register in a club for people with special needs. I met a lot of people who were in situations like mine or even worse. I started to learn how to depend on myself. Treatment with advice and exercise from the  club created me again and helped me return back to my home as a new person who is able to do many things even though I have half a body.

Did you have any problems finding a job?
Honestly, yes. My cousin knew the bank manager where I am working now, and he helped me to find this job.

Is there any consideration for your health situation at your job?
No, there is no special consideration for me from my manager or my workmates. That's because I can do all that any other person can do. Also, I do not accept any special consideration because I am the one who decided to work, and I have to take responsibility for my decision.

If time went back about four years, would you drive at the same high speed?
I forgot the work "if" and deleted it from my life dictionary because it is not going to change anything in real life. However, if time did go back, I would follow the road rules and I would not drive at high speeds.

Do you have any advice to people who drive at high speeds?
I say to them, "I ask God to save you, and please do not be frivolous. If you want to speed, you can see me and the people who are like me and imagine that you are in my shoes if you are lucky. You might be in the grave if you are unlucky.

I finished my conversation with Khalid. I really respect him because he is a very ambitious man. He is looking to the future, not to the past. He understands that his crazy speed in the past left him with half a body.
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