‘I’M POSSIBLE’ authored by Dr K Hari Prasad, President, Apollo Group-Hospitals

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Chennai, 5th February 2020: ‘I’M POSSIBLE’ – the story of a lad, who shone as bright as a star… Yet fate showed him down the narrowest lanes of life…  And… Yet, he came out… UNSCATHED, authored by Dr K Hari Prasad, President, Apollo Group-Hospitals; Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group wrote the Foreword for the book and World Badminton Champion PV Sindhu introduced the book in Hyderabad.

Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group received a copy of the book today from Dr. Hari Prasad, President, Apollo Hospitals Group during the Founder’s Day Celebration held in Chennai at Apollo Hospitals Greams road.

Dr Hari Prasad is a popular figure, not just because he helms one of the largest healthcare organizations of the country, but also because he is an extremely popular erstwhile cricketing star. He made his Ranji trophy debut with Mohammed Azharuddin, and played alongside stalwarts including M. V. Narsimha Rao, L Sivaramakrishnan, W.V.Raman and Saad bin Jung.

I’M Possible captures the unbelievable life story of Dr Hari Prasad, who has seen it all—from being an average performer in school to becoming a cricketing star; from fighting a legal battle to get into a medical college to giving up cricket overnight; from falling in love to tying the knot at a barely-marriageable age; from excelling as a doctor to giving up practising completely; from being a fit sportsman to falling prey to tobacco addiction…and eventually combating cancer…taking up a nearly impossible health challenge and emerging as an inspiration to many…

 Dr Prathap C. Reddy said,  everybody I met here has a good word for Hari, I met him 23 years ago, he is instrumental in creating an emergency system like nowhere in the world. He created a model emergency care for the Indian Healthcare. But what really impressed me was his ability to bring a change and make this huge difference for healthcare in our country. He has many more thing to do, to transform a good institution into a great institution. 

 Dr K Hari Prasad said, like everyone I too had my peaks and valleys, as the saying goes, one learns from mistakes I too learned many lessons from mistakes, this book is a compilation of all the mistakes I made and the lessons I learnt. There are many twists and turns in my life, I have been honest and captured my journey factually. It is more aimed at helping readers to avoid what is avoidable. It’s a celebration of all those who impacted my life and what I am today is because of them. I have started a charitable institution for helping the needy in education, health and sports and all the proceeds of this book will go towards these causes.

    Blurb of the book:  Dr Hari Prasad has seen it all—from being an average performer in school to becoming a cricketing star; from fighting a legal battle to get into a medical college to giving up cricket overnight; from falling in love to tying the knot at a barely-marriageable age; from excelling as a doctor to giving up practising completely; from being a fit sportsman to falling prey to tobacco addiction… and eventually combating cancer…

This book, I’M Possible, is the journey of a young Hari, who becomes an overnight sensation in the world of cricket. His bails fell when he fell for a Hyderabadi lass, who remained oblivious to his feelings for quite some time… But an ardent Hari finally succeeded in wooing her..

From ‘Hari’ to ‘Dr Hari’ to ‘Daddy, hurry!’ he did well at each stage in his life; he took many a difficult decision, even in the face of bitter opposition… Throughout his life, whenever things would seem settled, the earth beneath his feet would move, shattering everything around him.

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

He was extremely successful, but had a weakness—addiction to tobacco. With considerable effort, he overcame it, but the damage had been done. Soon after giving it up, he was diagnosed with leukaemia—a type of cancer. He fought the deadly disease and came out unscathed. Once cured, he decided to do something about his health.

This led to a radical shift in his life; he became a new Hari! He has lost almost 50 kilos in twenty-five months and all of this was done through dietary changes and exercises. I’M Possible is his unbelievable journey of transformation from weighing 115 kilos to less than 68 kilos!

In this magnificent book, Dr Hari captures his larger-than-life story in the simplest of words that vividly bring out the emotional side of an otherwise stern and reserved individual—one who underplays his achievements and often does revolutionary things from behind the curtain.

I’M Possible is an astounding page-turner that possesses the charm of a bygone era and holds the promise of a beautiful tomorrow. It is a tale of love, hope, grit, determination, courage and triumph. I’M Possible is a treat for everyone, irrespective of age, gender, geography and profession.

Book at a Glance:

❖ Story of a young boy, Hari, aspiring to be a cricketer.

❖ Hari’s father is a popular doctor and his career is a foregone conclusion.

❖ As Hari grows up, he excels on the field and becomes a cricket celebrity.

❖ His performance paves way for his education in medicine. However, it is not that easy. The lone sports quota seat in the government medical college is given to someone else. Hari and his father are forced to knock the doors of the district court, the high court and even the Supreme Court to win it back.

❖ Young Hari, who is by now even more of a celebrity now, falls in love with his batchmate but his absence from the class and presence on the field keep him from appearing for the year-end examinations.

❖ For the fear of losing his love, he proposes marriage to her and then talks about the same to his family. His father offers to get them engaged but not married as they were too young to be thinking about tying the knot.

Unhappy with the bargain, Hari leaves home. A lot of drama follows after which Hari and his beloved tie the knot with the blessings of both the families.

The unconditional love of their families brings about a 360 degree change in Hari’s life. He realizes that in order to reciprocate the love they had showered on them, he needs to build a strong career for himself. He gives up cricket when he is at the top of his game in regional and state cricket.

❖ Hari goes on to become a well-known name in the medical fraternity. He is regarded as the Father of Emergency Medicine in India, as he is the one who introduced the concept here.

❖ His exemplary skills see him becoming the President of Apollo Group of Hospitals.

❖ But the phase post his marriage saw him becoming careless towards his health, despite being/training to be a doctor. Not only did he quit playing cricket, he did not engage in any form of workout. His love for food and sweets led to him putting on a lot of weight, and his long-standing addiction to tobacco also took its toll. He was diagnosed with Leukaemia—a type of blood cancer. This happened soon after he had become the President of Apollo Group. In addition to this, he had other ailments like diabetes and hypertension to manage…

❖ In addition to all the above, this book is also his story of not only battling cancer but exhibiting unparalleled work ethic by working throughout his treatment phase which spanned three quarters of a year.

Post recovery, he undertook a health challenge and lost about 50 kilos of weight in about 25 months; and his waistline came down from 48″ to 30“.

❖ Dr Hari Prasad did all this the natural way and his weight loss journey would help people who have been trying to lose weight, give up any form of addiction, and to get to a healthier and happier version of themselves.

Excerpts from the Book   “When you are lucky in life and get a chance to keep falling in love with someone or something, it is difficult to understand what you truly love the most. But as they say, one can never forget one’s first love….

For me, it was cricket… 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 M. V. 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.”

The Admission Debacle “The admissions day arrived. I was pretty certain of securing a seat through the sports quota. To my utter disbelief, the lone seat in the sports quota was given to a friend of mine, who had played much less of a sport in my comparison…

In due course, the Supreme Court of India ruled in my favour, too. Finally, I got a seat in the government medical college, and no one could topple me from it.”

Being a Doctor “I remember an incident from a cold December night in 1996 when my parents had gone to the USA to visit my sister. My wife and I were running the hospital that time. At about 2 am, I got a call that one of my dad’s friends had been brought to the hospital in a serious condition. I was told that he had no pulse and was hardly breathing. I did not even look at what I was wearing and ran down the stairs.

I went straight to the vehicle he was brought in, and examined him. I started resuscitating him in the auto-rickshaw itself. I intubated him and gave him artificial respiration. This went on for about ten minutes. Finally, the resuscitative efforts yielded result and his pulse returned; he started breathing again. We shifted him to the ICU, where we diagnosed it to be a massive heart attack. He underwent bypass surgery and by God’s grace, he is still alive. Even today, he comes to my dad’s house almost every day, and spends time with him.”

Evolution of Emergency Medical Services as a Concept “In those days, we used to have casualty departments, which were manned by MBBS doctors. These departments functioned like post offices! If an emergency patient came in, the doctors working in the casualty would call the concerned specialist to take care of the patient. The patient, once stabilized, would be handed over to the concerned specialist for better care…

Today, emergency medicine is an established speciality in the country and is recognized as an important department in hospitals. It gives me immense satisfaction to see the speciality emerge and become a prime medical service in the country.”

Putting Method into Madness “Being a doctor, I could understand the medical requirements, but there were gaps on all other fronts— finance, administration, marketing, procurement, etc… Many departments were new to me and I understood very little of them. The senior-most and most respected medical professionals in the hospital—Dr Sangita Reddy, Mr Surender Reddy and Dr S. S. Reddy—were my pillars of support during this period. And it was Dr Sangita Reddy who taught me how to convert a difficult situation into an opportunity. She sent me to training programmes at IIM-Bengaluru and Singapore Management University and, more importantly, she supported me in all my efforts.”

Overcoming Addictions  “Consuming tobacco is the worst type of addiction and the most difficult to get rid of. Giving up any form of addiction takes a lot of courage, determination and, most importantly, a drastic shift in the mindset. People often use self-pity as an excuse to continue with various forms of addiction. We hear them say that they smoke or drink because they feel stressed and indulging in these helps them let off steam and relax. Some people drink or smoke when they celebrate. Looking at the trends, it seems that the ability to indulge in certain addictions is an indicator of one’s happiness. Addictions have become part of the lifestyle of our youth, and many can’t imagine living without them…”

 ‘Apart from medications, lifestyle plays a critical role in the control of these conditions. These conditions are often referred to as ‘lifestyle diseases. Physical activity, eating habits and stress management are as important in keeping these conditions under control as medications are, if not more. Alcohol and tobacco accentuate the damage done by these conditions. All that I have said about hypertension and diabetes is taught extensively in medical colleges. My doctor had put me on high dosage medications for hypertension and diabetes; my blood pressure and blood-sugar levels did not come down until I started making significant changes to my lifestyle. Doctors can only diagnose a health condition, prescribe medications and advise on the required lifestyle changes. It is up to the patient to comply with the advice or else, be prepared to suffer from the complications of these conditions. Life has a way of teaching us certain things. I had learnt my lesson. I did my best to make use of the opportunity I had got—a chance to go back to my fitter self…………..

Many of us are so lost in our day-to-day affairs that we do not pay heed to good advice and tend to ignore an issue till the problem becomes severe. This attitude is dangerous and could lead to disastrous situations. Following doctors’ advice is a golden principle, and I learnt it the hard way. After this experience, despite being a doctor myself, I made it a point to follow my physicians’ advice and benefitted immensely from this change in attitude.”

Battling Cancer  ‘They explained that there were some abnormal cells in the blood and that they would only be able to confirm my diagnosis after additional tests. What diagnosis?’ I asked I was doing absolutely fine, and had just come back from a long holiday. I did not have any health-related problems. After a minute of silence, they said that the blood smear was suggestive of leukaemia—blood cancer. I stood there in denial, and said, ‘I am absolutely fine! How could I have leukaemia?

By now, I was mentally prepared for dealing with the side- effects of chemotherapy, including loss of hair, loss of appetite, and becoming weak and frail…

I have not heard of any organization allowing one of its key employees to work from an isolation room so that the person could work and simultaneously undergo treatment for cancer. I am blessed to be part of Apollo Group of Hospitals. I am indebted to all my friends and colleagues, who helped me stay strong and be productive in such a difficult, personal situation.”

Weight loss and transformation  “From a whopping 115kgs, I reached my goal of 75 kg on 23 March 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 leukaemia 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.”

Author’s Note:  Dr K. Hari Prasad concludes, “A number of people have impacted my life and life has given me a lot. It is time to do my bit for what I have received. The proceeds of this book and some other initiatives which I will take up in the future will go towards helping the needy in education, sports and health.”

The book is published by Kitabaan Publications, New Delhi and Socialight a communication company based out of Hyderabad has made significant contributions in the design and execution.

About the Author:  Born in 1964, Dr K. Hari Prasad has had a long and successful career as a cricketer, clinician and administrator. He was one of the youngest Ranji Trophy players, having represented Hyderabad while he was still at school.

After completing his post-graduation in anaesthesiology—which helped him in many ways as a practising anesthesiologist, intensivist and emergency physician during his dinical career—he joined his father at their family-run hospital, Sridevi Nursing Home, in Hyderabad. But then, when no one expected him to, Dr Hari joined Apollo Hospitals.

At Apollo, he transitioned to a full-time administrator while setting up Emergency Services across Apollo units in the country. He is often regarded as the pioneer of Emergency Medicine in India. His journey from being the Vice-president of Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad, to CEO-Central Region, and finally, the Group President, has been phenomenal!

On the personal front, he faced several difficulties, some self-inflicted and some beyond his control. He faced each of these challenges and overcame them with grit and determination. I’M Possible is his first foray into writing.

Apart from what he does at work, Dr Hari is now trying to make a difference to the lives of those around him. He plans to spend his post-retirement years working for a cause that has been on his mind for quite some time now…

 About Socialight:  Socialight is a one-stop, full-service digital marketing firm with core competencies of digital marketing and technology solutions. At Socialight, a team of curious people who share a passion for crafting digital experiences that yield results, is constantly working on new technologies and strategies that push businesses towards development and growth, and most importantly ahead of the competition.

They expertise in: Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Ad films and corporate films, Digital design & Social Media Campaigns.

As a team of adept specialists in the fields of writing, design, social media, and more, Socialight provides a wide range of experience and services that can help established and new businesses in growing their business.

About Kitabaan Kitabaan is a young and vibrant publishing house based in Delhi. They understand what their authors and readers want, and the market trends in publishing. We indulge in books that have the capacity to stir stones and about the stories that are written within its pages, interest and inspire us.

Kitabaan shares a special relationship with Hyderabad and would be releasing about eight lead titles based on the lives of celebrities, entrepreneurs and well-known professionals over the next few months. The Online vertical of Kitabaan is set to come to market in April 2020.

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