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  Volume 4 - Issue 07 JULY 2006
 
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AN UNPRECEDENTED MIRACLE OF LIFE…AND DIVINE LOVE

By Sri Y Arvind


This is the story of baby Sai Sathyanarayana, who owes his life to Bhagavan and those privileged to work for Him. Read on to find out about this amazing medical miracle.

“It is a healthy baby”, said the gynaecologist to Mrs. Kiran Kumari four months into her pregnancy. Her husband Mr. Karanam Srinivas Rao a photographer by profession in the port city of Visakhapatnam received the news with great joy and the birth of his first child was a moment he was looking forward to. For him everything was picture perfect now. Theirs had been a traditional arranged marriage in the year 2004 after which the couple had settled down to raise a family. The baby in her womb was their first issue and motherhood was a destiny Kumari looked forward to with great joy. Everything seemed moving in the right direction and life went on as usual for the young couple.

First Fearful Tidings

In the 9th month of her pregnancy when Kumari returned for a check up, the scanning went on for more than two hours. “The baby is overweight” said the gynaecologist. “Usually three kilograms is normal but your child is around four. That’s one kilogram heavier”. The words were not as disturbing as the furrowed brow of the doctor. A housewife expecting her first baby – her bundle of joy, Kiran Kumari could only hope that nothing was seriously wrong. The gynaecologist offered the mother as much solace as she could as a professional. The young parents to be could only assuage their fears to an extent.

On the 10th of December 2005 at 11:15 PM in a small exclusive gynaecological hospital their little boy came into the world…but he came in silence. The heartening cry of the new born was conspicuous by its absence. Tubes were immediately introduced endotracheally and the fluids obstructing the larynx and the wind pipe aspirated. When the cool fresh air flowed into his little body the child drawing his first lungful cried out aloud. There were tears of joy on the cheeks of his mother and father who were apprehensive ever since the last check up.

But their joy was short lived…within minutes, the baby developed complications and the situation fast deteriorated. He was taken by ambulance to King George Hospital, a major Medical Institution in Visakhapatnam . It was 12:00 PM in the night. The child was admitted, his ECG traced and an Echocardiogram was performed. There was something seriously wrong but unable to identify it, the doctors advised the parents to get private scanning done – fast.

 

The Shocking Diagnosis

The parents got the X-ray and CT scans done. To their consternation the preliminary diagnosis was the sum of all fears. Their child had been born with a very rare congenital disorder with attendant multiple complications. Not one but, seven doctors came and studied the reports. Despite their conferring, the doctors were themselves not sure of the extent of the disease. The young mother was in shock at the news, but refused to give up on the life of a part of her own flesh and blood. “Is there no way out?” she pleaded. “It can be corrected through surgery”, was the clinically dispassionate reply. “But it is very delicate and tricky to decide right now, and also there is a very high risk of failure. Let us first stabilise him with medical management (medicines) and then proceed further.”

The parents then took their baby to Apollo hospital for consultation, hoping that one of the premier private hospitals would be able to help. But even there the doctors were extremely hesitant to take up the case. They suspected a congenital heart disease. The good news was that they had a technique to diagnose the disease but the bad news was the minimum weight to safely perform an angiogram was five kilograms – the boy was only 2.5 kilo grams. Dr. Naresh Kumar, a paediatric cardiac surgeon and specialist said, “The child is too small for an angiogram. We will have to wait a while for him to gain weight. Doing it now is too risky.” The surgery was pegged at Rs. 1.2 million but there was no guarantee that it would succeed…

They returned home to discuss the future course of action. They prayed to Shirdi Sai Baba for help, yet every minute that passed seemed to add to his agony. His condition tore at the hearts of Kiran and Srinivas. Neither could rest, yet they took turns at caring for their first born. Then one day at about 10 PM their already emaciated child started vomiting and was having difficulty even to breathe. They rushed him to back to Apollo and the child was immediately admitted.

The little baby was hospitalized and instead of the warm embrace of his mother he had to find comfort in the artificial means of medical technology. In place of the comforting thumping of his mothers heart that he was so used to when in the cocoon of her womb, his tiny senses heard the sharp abrasive sounds of alarms and beeps with white sheets and walls that surrounded him. The effect of the anomaly was apparent when his weight plummeted to an alarming 2 kilograms within the three weeks of hospital stay.

 

He was put on furosemide, a diuretic. The vital organs of all human beings, the lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen and so on are all sensitive to the pressure at which the heart is able to pump the blood. The kidney is a membranous biological filter that sieves the fluids of the body eliminating the impurities as urine. Like any other filter it needs pressure on one side of the membrane for the purification to occur. In day old babies the organs are extra sensitive.

In the case of this little lad born with a congenital disorder the effects were apparent; he could not urinate without the help of furosemide that helped remove excess fluid from his body. When his weight began to fall furosemide was discontinued thinking that he was losing too much fluid, but surprisingly his weight began to fall further.

Even in all this agony and suffering his behaviour as a baby was very uncommon. He rarely expressed emotions, and even when he fell off the bed at the age of one month he did not cry. His stoicism strengthened the resolve of both his parents. They were willing to do anything to help him.

The father distraught...before the operation
   

The boy was discharged from Apollo on the 10th of February 2006. The parents were distraught that all their efforts were in vain. But it is when all human effort has failed and the tired mind looks to God that He responds in full. What followed could not be providence alone. Something or someone beyond was holding them and leading them. That evening, when they were all in the depths of despair, a light glowed at the end of the dark tunnel.

The Light Of Hope Beckons

Srinivas had a cousin who was an active Sai worker in Anakapalli, a small town in Andhra Pradesh. He advised that they go to the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Puttaparthi. This was more than a silver lining to Srinivas who was like a drowning man clutching at straws. Only, this was not a straw but the outstretched hand of God.

The family of three came to Puttaparthi on the 14th of February. The child was examined at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences Prasanthigram, and was referred to the sister institution Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Whitefield, Bangalore. They reached on the 15th the very next day and brought the child to the Hospital. The child was put through all the preliminary screening and was taken for the routine tests on the 16th. Just to verify the complexity of the anomaly, the echo was done a phenomenal six times and reviewed by three cardiologists in consultation with a cardiac surgeon. All this was just to ascertain that the anomaly that they were seeing on the screen really existed in such a little child. The doctors went into a huddle and then decided that they would go ahead with the case.

This was like manna from heaven to Srinivas. He could not believe his ears that after being rejected by two major hospitals in Visakhapatnam, with their specialists afraid to risk even a Cath procedure…here was a Hospital that was willing to take up the case in its entirety. It was here that he slowly began to realise the difference between a Doctor and a Healer. Though like conventional hospitals we too have doctors…all the doctors here work with the firm conviction that there is something beyond them that works through them and it is that power that heals.

Swami's hospitals....where the distraut find endless hope when their life has almost reached a hopeless end...

The angiogram on the 2.75 kilo, 57 cms long baby boy was performed on the 17th of February. And the final diagnosis read as follows: Acyanotic congenital heart disease. Coronary cameral fistula. LAD > RV. PDA L > R. Normal Sinus Rhythm. Congestive Heart Failure. No Infective Endocarditis.

For laymen all the medical jargon translates as: there is a hole (that should not be there) in the heart that connects the major artery that supplies blood to the heart muscle into one of the chambers of the heart. This is the Coronary Cameral Fistula.

Also, there was another communication between the pulmonary artery which circulates blood to the lungs and the aorta that circulates blood to the body. This is the Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). All these unnatural connections were causing a very distorted flow of blood in the boy’s heart. Unable to handle all these complications, the heart was going into failure. Fortunately for the boy he had no infections of any sort earlier. So, his body could withstand surgery.

20th of February 2006 will forever remain indelible in the life of the little boy. For, every time he looks into the mirror, at his bare chest, later in his life, he will see a silvery scar tracing its path in a straight line from below his collar bone to the top of his belly.

Dr. Anil Kumar Mulpur, Head of the Department of Cardiac Surgery, operated on the child ably assisted by Dr. S.P.Manoj Kumar Consultant, both dextrous surgeons in their own right. Dr. Srinivas, Head of the Department of Anaesthesia was on the job through out the surgery.

 
The baby in the ICU

No expenses were spared and the best was given. The child was put on cardio pulmonary bypass with the help of a heart lung machine. Dr. Anil smoothly ligated the PDA and closed the Coronary cameral fistula.

 
A nurse giving 'intense love and care' to the baby in ICU
A new beginning....

The child was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit and was under constant supervision. But the suffering the little body had undergone for the weeks prior to the surgery had already left its impression. The child was on a ventilator for 40 days since his lungs were not able to take the load of a normal blood flow immediately. When he showed signs of improvement, he was shifted to the ward for one night. He again developed respiratory trouble and was shifted back to the ICU – this time for another 15 days.

The Divine Heals

Time is a great healer and the child was in the Temple of Healing. Days passed and he gained strength. When the doctors were sure he was breathing well on his own without any difficulty, he was shifted to the ward. But unfortunately he deteriorated again and was brought back to the ICU for the third time and stayed on till the 29th of the month. When he was shifted back to the ward the third time…he seemed third time lucky…he never came back to the ICU. It was a one way route out of the portals of the Hospital…healthy and well. Since he had no events in the ward, he was subsequently discharged. He is now at home with his parents in Visakhapatnam leading a happy life, reborn in the SSSIHMS.

 
The parents with their son 'reborn'
The mother can hold her child again!

The Overjoyed Parents

A month later when contacted over the phone Karanam Srinivas Rao who has made Sri Sathya Sai Baba the centre of his life, joyously informed us that his little boy is recovering fast and without any subsequent complications. He said,

 

“Light and hope has dawned on our lives. At the beginning when we were leaving for Bangalore, some people said that it was difficult to get the child operated in Swami's Hospital. They dissuaded us but we persisted. The doctors of Swami's Hospital immediately attended on the child, conducted all the tests and performed the operation.

In fact we do not know much about Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Our God is Shirdi Sai and we prayed to Him and wrote a letter to Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Our prayer was answered. It was a great wonder that we did not spend even a pie on the child in the Hospital. Everything was free. The Hospital was like a temple, calm and serene. The child has now completed his first six months and now weighs 5 1/2 kgs, happy, healthy, playful and cheerful.”

The good times have returned to the couple...
   

Sai Sathyanarayana is the name of this gift of God. A name that will remind the entire family of their benefactor every moment of their existence.

This is the subtle way God enters and pervades the lives of not just the one who has been healed but his entire generation. The whole dynasty that will follow will be indebted to That God who touched the life of this boy Sai Sathyanarayana.

These feelings are aptly expressed in the words of the overwhelmed father,

“Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the living and loving God of our time. He has proved in our case that I will not leave anyone who comes to Me for help. Take one step towards Me and I will take ten towards you”. This is a divine marvel, a manifestation of Bhagavan Baba's love for those who are in distress and who pray to Him for Help.”

‘A Miracle’ Opine The Specialists

He has also taken his son to a local specialist Dr. Radha Krishna who was astounded at the recovery, since no one would take up such a case with the baby in such a low weight category. The same opinion was echoed by Dr. Naresh Kumar specialist at Apollo Hospitals, in Visakhapatnam, “It is a rare case”, he had said and had expressed great interest about how it was possible to work on such a baby? All the specialists who declared the child inoperable under the earlier circumstances are now amazed at the surgery and the recovery and have even showed interest in documenting and learning from the case.

 

Sai’s Surgeon

Let us look at the case of this boy through the eyes of Dr. Anil Kumar Mulpur, HOD Dept of CTVS SSSIHMS Whitefield.

 

“This young child had a pre-operative diagnosis of coronary cameral fistula. This is extremely rare to surface and present in the first year of life. Even as we were planning the operation, the child deteriorated and had to be put on ventilator (artificial respiration) the night before. If this child were to be left alone, he probably would have died. The only option available was to operate on this 2.75 kilogram sick child who also had emaciation and cardiac cachexia – the child was essentially skin and bones.

At the operation the patient was put on Cardiopulmonary Bypass, the PDA ligated and the heart arrested with Cardioplegia. The Left Anterior Descending artery was opened up to identify 1.5 cm communication with Right Ventricle. This was closed with the child’s own pericardium. The incision in the artery was closed and the patient was separated successfully from the Heart Lung Machine.

Dr. Anil Kumar Mulpur
   

Though the heart recovered in three to four days, we had to undertake progressive hyper alimentation – loading the child with calories, proteins and vitamins and build the muscle mass of the child, such that he could breathe well on his own. In view of his poor pre operative status – emaciation and cachexia, it was not surprising that the child combated with multiple infections. The child was weaned slowly and was finally extubated on the 33rd post operative day.

 

The post operative echo showed – no fistula flow, no residual PDA, no Pulmonary Oedema, Good Left Ventricular / Right Ventricular function. Intensive care unit nurses, the physiotherapist and anaesthetist have spent more time with the child than the biological mother!

A literature search suggests that this could well be the youngest age and the lowest weight for this condition in the entire world so far. Whatever medical science can say or do…the bottom line is that it was impossible for the child to leave the hospital without the abundant grace of Swami.”

Sai Sathyanarayana smiles serenely in his home...
   

The last words reflect the faith of the doctors that Sai is the Healer. This is just another vindication that the Lord is the master of the great miracle called life. Men are but instruments in the hands of God who is the real doctor and healer. The treatises on Ayurveda declare “Vaidyo Narayano Harihi”. In other words – “Lord Narayana, Hari, is the doctor.”


Sri Y Arvind is a former student of Swami's college currently serving as a Technical Officer in Swami's Hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore.

Dear Reader, how did you like this story? Would you like more of such patient stories in this section of our magazine? Do you have any suggestions for our 'Healing Touch' section which will help you better? Please let us know at [email protected]. Please mention your name and country when you write to us.

– Heart2Heart team




 
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Vol 4 Issue 07 - JULY 2006
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