Does our concept of death impact the way we decide live? or is death a constant companion that reminds us of life’s fragility? These thoughts may seem extreme, but for one person, they were the norm. For 28 days, Andrew Elkan was in a coma, and it is today’s remarkable conversation that inspires you to look at life in a different way and unmoor you from what you thought was reality.
In this world, where we are defined by our experiences, and those experiences in themselves are filtered through a social lens of cultural expectations. we look at the concept of death, the dilemma of the “right to die” and an extraordinary, expansive view on the universe at large.
About Andrew Elkan
Andrew Elkan was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, US, 1977.
Moved to California in 1984. Attended college in Santa Cruz, Ca.
Developed epilepsy as a child but didn’t have full seizures till adulthood. Around 23.
One seizure led to needing to have an induced coma to stop seizures and reduce brain swelling. After 24 hours without success, they could not bring me out of the coma. I remained in the ICU at Scripps Hospital in Encinitas for 28 days in a coma.
Once awake, I remained in the hospital for over a month in a shared room. At that time the rehabilitation started. I had to learn to walk, write and read all over again.
Once you can walk and read at a basic level. All therapy at the time stopped. There was no physical or emotional therapy provided by the hospital after that.
After a long struggle to prove my cognitive disabilities by myself. I finally met with a federal judge and between my testimony and my neurologist I got on the federal disability list.
Once on disability, several years after my coma, I was able to go to therapy again.
In the United States, it is difficult to get disability assistance, pay bills, find medical help or even a place to live if you are disabled.
With the difficulties I faced with my situation. I wanted to start a group where coma Survivors could meet others. Where knowledge and help is available to anyone. Without being a medical professional, I do my best to help find financial support, housing, medical assistance or simply being a person who understands and will listen.
Or group is the Coma Survivors. I’m working on starting a foundation too. The Coma Survivor’s Foundation. Both have pages so the community can find me on Facebook.
I believe my experience while in a coma and after to be a unique experience. To be in a coma and survive is an experience few have.
About the Global Indian Series:
My name is Rajan Nazran Chief Explorer for the Global Indian Series, the official platform for people of Indian origin (PIO), because let’s face it, we are everywhere!
For almost 15 years we have travelled across the globe covering 58 countries to date whilst exploring the kaleidoscope of our remarkable 50 shades of brown community.
Voyaging to the edges of the Amazon, facing Ebola in West Africa, being held hostage in Eastern Europe, tapping rubber in Malaysia, drinking chai with Heads of State and sharing laughter with local fishermen – I have been there, looking for us!
Our purpose is simple, to build a living encyclopaedia of the human experience of the community and a safe mooring ground for open discussions, whether you are an NRI, Indian Diaspora, person of Indian origin (PIO) or a fan of South Asian anthropology, what we do is bring people and communities together.
We do this by plunging into the human experience of being a person of Indian origin (PIO), taking a second look at the countries we now call home and tackling the conversations we need to know more about.
Through our range of award-winning original content (print, podcasts, events and TV) and fascinating discussions, our impactful stories and platforms have spearheaded national and international conversations that have brought people together. Our work is featured in global brands including The Indian Express through to the CNBC network.
How to get involved:
Interested in getting involved in building the world’s largest living encyclopedia on the community? Whether you want to become a patron, buy us a chai in a new location or have your story shown, simply get in touch via our website, we would love to hear from you. www.globalindianseries.com
You can reach Rajan via
YouTube: Global Indian Series
Special thank you to TAIZU for the music
Presenter – Rajan Nazran
Producer –Global Indian Series/NazranRoth
Guests – Andrew Elkan
Art Design – Vanisha Patel
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