Convocation Spotlight - Divya Sharma, '21 DDS

Convocation Spotlight - Divya Sharma, '21 DDS

Tarwinder Rai - 24 June 2021

It was the last day of intersession of Year 3 for dentistry student Divya Sharma. What was supposed to be a time of summer adventure, took a turn for the worst. Sharma suffered a fall that left her with a broken elbow and right foot, and 6 lacerations in her hands, legs and lips.

 “The orthopedic surgeon casted my leg and told me not to bear weight on my foot for at least two months,” says Sharma. “When the eight weeks were up, with great determination, I put my foot on the ground and started to walk to the nearest physiotherapy center. It took around 10 physiotherapy sessions for me to go from crutches to a cane, and then finally, no support.”

Even after this, Sharma was still limping. And it would take eight months for a full recovery, which required a lot of will and testament from Sharma.

“I had always considered myself as unbreakable. I had done enough adventures to prove that! But here I was, in my final year of dental school with two broken bones,” says Sharma, adding not having any family in Canada or even a roommate made the recovery even more challenging. “It was not easy for me to accept that while I stayed home, my classmates would start their final year.”

Sharma says she had the support of her friends to run errands or do groceries for her when she was immobile. There were regular zoom meetings with the school to discuss how she was going to keep up.

“The final year of the dental curriculum is very intense and it shapes our skills for the future. Plans were made, which meant extra hours on the clinic floor and forgoing all optional leaves. It was constant hard work to catch up with the rest of the class, but I wasn’t willing to give up,” says Sharma.

Her determination has paid off. Sharma will graduate as a proud dental grad along with the rest of her class. And the experience she says has made her even stronger.

“I learned that when times get tough, we need to get tougher. We learn to have faith in ourselves and trust that things will get better. We should be hopeful and never give up. And remember to be patient, there is always light at the end of the tunnel,” says Sharma.