My name is Thaneswari Thanggaraju, and I'm 18-years-old. I'm a traumatic spinal cord injury survivor.

I have spent the last 10 years on a wheelchair. In 2011, I met with an accident when I was going to school at SJKT Ladang Tumbuk with my mother and siblings. I ended up at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) for treatment, and at first, I could not move any part of my body.

I was ordered to undergo physiotherapy for three months, and in that period, I was gradually able to move my hand (but not fingers) and play with my siblings. One day, the doctor told that I can never walk again due to my spinal cord injury.

The words totally broke me. I cried, I screamed, because I had lost my childhood. I could no longer hold my teddy bear, or pencil. I had to be confined to a wheelchair the whole day, and wait for someone to help me. A day did not go by without me being teary-eyed.

However, the Iron Lady behind me - my mother, Mrs Susila, stood behind me, and to this day, she takes care of me like a baby, cleaning and looking after me. With her support, my days became more meaningful.

She gave me paper and pencil and got me to practise writing and drawing. With God's blessing, today, I am able to write and draw. I have started believing in myself, and I know one day I will be a successful person.

I'm not a professional henna artist, but I try my best to draw beautiful henna designs. Some people from my hometown used to support me by giving henna orders, and the money from the business went towards helping my parents manage my medical bills.

However, I lost the orders due to the Movement Control Order (MCO). I found an alternative way to display my talent, by opening up a YouTube channel called Thanes Vlog. Plus, I would like to continue my studies as my elder sibings did, and one day, have a career.

Thanks to all those who have supported my YouTube channel thus far, to the point of having 917 subscribers. Please keep on supporting.

P/S: I'm hesitant to reveal my face after receiving unsolicited messages when I opened a Facebook page to promote henna two years ago. I would just like to request to men that I'm just like your sister, so please don't send me unwanted messages. Also, if you see people like me, do not discourage or bully us. It hurts us a lot.

This story by Thanes was originally featured on The Unique You Facebook page and has been reproduced in Astro Ulagam. You can follow Thanes' henna art on her YouTube channel.

Photos source: The Unique You Facebook