Young archer's wait for doctor's all-clear gets longer amid pandemic

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Shivangini Gohain’s parents are caught in a strange situation. While their 12-year-old daughter, a promising archer from Dibrugarh in Assam, is eager to return to training after a brush with a life-threatening injury during training, the parents are apprehensive the freak injury suffered in January might get aggravated.

An arrow pierced Gohain’s right shoulder at the Sports Authority of India’s training centre in the Chabua district of Dibrugarh and narrowly missed the spinal cord. She was airlifted to Delhi and treated at the AIIMS Trauma Centre.

But due to the nationwide lockdown enforced in March, the family couldn’t bring her to Delhi for follow-up examination. “We had booked tickets for April 6 but the flight got cancelled. The doctor treating her had prescribed a three-month course. He has now advised medicines for another three months,” says Gohain’s father Birinchi. “We are happy that she is eating well and sometimes goes for a walk and jogs too, but we don’t want to send her for training until the doctor gives the all-clear… she still has stiffness around the shoulder.”

Birinchi says he can’t think of coming to Delhi in the near future as “the situation isn’t good”. “The doctor has asked us not to take that risk.”

The parents are in regular touch with the doctor in Delhi, calling or texting him to share Gohain’s progress, “as local doctors are not able to give any advice”.

Gohain’s coach at SAI centre, Athary Shimray Mercy, says, “Since there is no competition right now, Shivangini can take it easy. She stays close to the training centre and it must be difficult for the parents to tell her that she cannot go to ground.”

Gohain, who got enrolled at the SAI centre in December 2018, is in Class 5 and currently attending online sessions. “We are thankful to God that she is able to doing something,” says her father.

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