Conquering leukemia with a smile

A book titled I’m Possible by Dr K Hari Prasad delineates his journey so far, ups and downs, and illustrious career

By Author  |  Published: 16th Feb 2020  12:25 amUpdated: 15th Feb 2020  8:30 pm

It is his first foray as an author. Titled I’m Possible, Dr K Hari Prasad dwells about his successful career as cricketer, clinician and administrator. But behind this journey, there have been a lot of ups and downs in the 56-year-old’s career, particularly the way he fought leukemia – a type of cancer. The struggle that he endured and the way he had to make a radical shift in his life, Hari has been able to capture the larger-than-life story that could inspire many fighting depressions and personal tragedies.

“From a whopping 115 kg, I reached my goal of 75 kg on March 23, 2019, and was thrilled about it. I had lost 40 kg in 20 months. When I had started, many thought that this would not be possible. Many people asked me if I had undergone bariatric surgery. Those who knew I had leukemia in the past, wondered if the weight loss was due to the deadly disease… Now, as the September of 2019 starts, my weight is maintained below 70 kg and my waistline has come down from 48 inches to 32 inches,” he shares.

As tennis ace Sania Mirza says: “I believe sportspersons are geared to handle difficult situations with great patience. This trait is evident in Dr Hari Prasad’s character. I have seen him handle high pressure situations with a smile. I’m sure this book would give us wonderful insights and be inspiration for everyone.”

Dr Hari Prasad’s meteoric rise to being the Group President of one of India’s leading hospital chains — Apollo Group of Hospitals — is a story of a visionary. He is the man behind the evolution and revolution of Emergency Medical Services in India.

He says the Apollo story has been quite a tale. It began In 1994 Ramana Reddy, his childhood friend who was working with Apollo Hospitals as the head of biomedical engineering division, had helped him invite the Chairman of Apollo Group of Hospitals, Dr Prathap C Reddy and Sangita Reddy, the joint managing director, for the 20th anniversary of his father’s Sridevi Nursing Home. The big moment of his life came when Prathap Reddy invited him to join the Apollo Hospital. “I was confused when they made me that offer,” he says. But the Chairman reasoned with him by saying ‘by joining Apollo, he would have the opportunity to touch the life of many people across the country’.

From a practising anaesthesiologist, he transitioned to a full-time administrator, his journey from being the vice-president of Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad, to CEO-Central Region, and finally, the Group President, has been phenomenal!

But he was a promising cricketer, albeit for a short while. “When I was in Grade 11, I played for Hyderabad in the Under 22 and scored a double century in the finals of the inter-State tournament, which we won. This was a major win for us, and especially for me. I had become the hero that I wanted to be… The victory became a stepping stone for me and I was immediately picked to play the Ranji Trophy for Hyderabad. Former cricketer MV Narasimha Rao was our captain when I played the Ranji Trophy for the State and many other illustrious cricketers were part of the team, including Mohammad Azharuddin and Shivlal Yaday,” says Hari Prasad.

Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin says Hari Prasad was an outstanding talent with his ability to attack from the start. “The one shot I loved to see him play was a full stretched sweep shot, he almost looked like the great Rohan Kanhai,” shares Azhar.

The proceeds of this book, according to Hari Prasad, will go towards helping the needy in education, sports and health. It is published by the Delhi-based Kitabaan.

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