My McAfee Chronicles is a series featuring McAfee team members who have interesting and inspiring life stories to share. Meet Shiva, a Software Development Engineer in Bangalore, India.
When a traumatic road accident changed the course of Shiva’s life, he had two options – give up on life or give life his best shot. For Shiva, there was only one obvious choice. Through his unrelenting willpower and sheer determination, he was able to overcome all odds.
Shiva shares his deeply inspirational story below:
My Journey at McAfee: started in 2011 when I joined the company.
In 2013, my life was turned upside down: I was on a road trip with a few friends when we got in a car accident. Although I was fortunate enough to survive, unlike two of my friends, I suffered from a severe nerve injury that left me paralyzed from the neck down.
I was fortunate to receive immense support from my team and McAfee: The next few months were some of the roughest of my life. Due to the extent of my injuries, I spent several months recuperating in the hospital. Soon, I hit my limit for medical insurance coverage. No one is ever prepared to face such a financial situation and I was no different. However, I was extremely fortunate that McAfee came forward and supported me in every possible way, both financially and emotionally. With McAfee’s support, I was able to receive the best treatment for my needs.
The road to recovery was long and arduous: I spent close to 10 months in the hospital and doing rehab, slowly picking up the pieces of my life again. Even simple things like sitting or talking to someone took me a great deal of effort. However, giving up was never an option for me. My doctors encouraged me to engage mentally, and that’s when I slowly started to contribute at work again.
Before my accident, I led two projects for my team: Even though my mobility was restricted, I still have the ability to think. So, my team came forward and encouraged me to work again. I started at a slow pace, mostly talking on the phone and sharing my thoughts with my team. My team served as my hands and legs, coding and working on my unfinished projects. My leaders and team members turned out to be my biggest strength. They would visit me often to cheer me up and we would celebrate special occasions together. I was overwhelmed by their love and support.
Finally, it was time to get back to the office: When I started walking a little, I slowly got back to work in a phased manner. McAfee gave me the flexibility that I needed to put together the pieces of my life. Although it was wonderful to be back, returning didn’t come without its challenges. I could not drive to work anymore. For some time, my teammates helped me get to the office. On other occasions, I would hire a taxi. On the days when it rained, it was challenging to find a cab, given Bangalore’s traffic.
Joining McAbility – Around the same time, McAbility was formed in India. I became a part of it and brought my commute issue to McAfee’s knowledge. I’m glad to say that McAfee did not hesitate to arrange a special cab exclusively for me. McAfee welcomed and acted on every suggestion that I shared regarding improving mobility issues in the office.
Life does go on: With the support of my family, team members and McAfee, life slowly started to get back to normal. I even got a chance to visit my colleagues in the Cork office, which was a life changing moment for me. The support that I received from everyone around me was a crucial part of my recovery. Even now when I’m in the office, people stop by and ask me how I am doing and it is heartwarming.
My life mantra: “Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary”, by Mark Twain. If you want to be a good person or be kind to someone, it will come to you naturally. You wouldn’t have to try too hard.
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