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  Volume 4 - Issue 09 SEPTEMBER 2006
 
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FROM HEARTBREAK TO HAPPINESS

A moving story of how two tiny-tots rediscovered light, joy, strength….


“Patients were pouring in and the place was getting crowded. I suddenly heard a little boy’s voice from the back calling ‘Aunty, aunty’. When I turned around I saw Kotishwar, with bright shining eyes and a wide smile on his chubby face. ‘I can see, Aunty’ he said as he came running and held my hand. ‘Take me to the doctor. I want to tell him also that I can see,’”.

This is what Mrs. Poornima Shirale, who has been serving the Neurology outpatient department of the Swami’s Hospital since the days of its inception, narrates recollecting one of the typical days at the hospital. “Every day in the hospital is a revelation,” she says.

In this article, we bring you the experiences of just two of the hundreds who walk into this Hospital everyday and return with full of hope, happiness and gratitude to God.

So to continue with the story of Kotiswar, over to Mrs. Poornima Shirale for the events that unfolded as she saw them.

 
   
Excited Little Kotishwar

“Tears welled in my eyes seeing the jubilant face and sparkling eyes of Kotiswar, as my heart silently thanked Swami. I looked up at his mother, her eyes were full. They could no longer hold the tears. It was too good to be true. Her face was a assortment of disbelief, utter joy and gratitude.

I took little Koti, as he is fondly called, and his mother inside the doctor’s chamber. The kid was very excited and kept talking to the doctor non-stop. “What is this?” asked the doctor holding a pen in his hand. “Pen,” came the answer. “Who is this?” asked the doctor pointing to Swami’s beautiful photograph on the wall. “Baba garu,” replied Koti. The sense of fulfillment on the doctor’s face said it all. It was not mere ‘joy’ or ‘happiness’…it was something more, an inner elation beyond expression.

Kotishwar Rao is a 3-year old boy hailing from a remote village in West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. He is the eldest among two siblings.

 

His father works as a daily wage labourer in the fields. He was born as a normal and healthy baby. When he was 2 ½ years old, Koti’s mother had a second child, a baby girl and the couple palpably was delighted. But it was not to last too long…within a couple of months, they noticed that Koti’s vision was not what it should be. In fact, it was decreasing. He was groping for objects and to their utter shock, within 25 days he became totally blind. The worried parents approached a local eye doctor. Lack of advanced medical investigation facilities in their village meant no proper diagnosis for Koti. The local doctor referred them to the ophthalmic department in the Sri Sathya Sai Super-Speciality Hospital at Puttaparthi.

It did not take them long to reach Puttaparthi. After the preliminary investigations and a CT scan, it was confirmed that Koti had a brain tumour. The doctors in Parthi hospital immediately sent all his medical records to our hospital at Whitefield with a letter addressed to the neurosurgeon.

The next week was a hectic one for Kotishwar. His family arrived in Bangalore on 3rd May 2006, and approached the reception hall in our hospital, nervously clutching the letter the doctor at Puttaparthi doctor had given them. Kotiswar’s mother says, “We came to a new city with two babies and no money. We were surprised by the understanding and care that the people here have shown us.”

The Super Speciality Hospital at Bangalore
   

Considering Koti’s young age, he was admitted immediately. MRI and blood tests were carried out. The MRI revealed a well-defined lesion in the suprasellar region. The tumour was very close to the optic nerve. The surgery had to be done immediately because once the optic nerve gets damaged then there is probably no hope of getting one's eyesight back.

On 17th May little Koti underwent surgery. Left Pterional Craniotomy and Decompression was done. Post surgery, the pressure on the optic nerve was released. His vision started improving. Kotishwar was discharged on the eighth day.

When he was in the hospital, the chubby and cheerful Koti won the hearts of all. Doctors and volunteers included. His lively smile and sweet talk became the talk of the ward.

One month later, he came to the neuro OPD for a review with his mother. By then his vision had improved and he could see everything clearly. This is what his mother had to say. “My family members warned me that the child would not survive or might lose his speech or limbs after the surgery. Still placing faith in Swami we agreed for the surgery. Now it is the turn of the family members to be surprised. How can we ever forget the love and care shown to us by the Hospital staff?

We have no words to express our gratitude to our beloved Baba garu and consider ourselves very fortunate to be the recipients of His boundless love.”

 

   
Koti happy in his mothers arms

Now Kotishwar can go to school like all other children and do everything that children of his age can do. It is as if he never had any illness at all.

The second story is also another moving account. But this baby is only 2 months old and this what Mrs. Poornima narrates -

 

Look at baby Omkar, two months old, lying peacefully in his mother’s arms. His mother smiles with gratitude and happiness. Just a week ago, she had come from Karwar (in North Karnataka) to the Neuro out-patients department, hugging her child, who was having breathing difficulties.

The mother was overjoyed when she delivered a male baby, after ten years of marriage. But her joy soon turned into a nightmare, as she noticed her baby was finding it difficult to breathe, when he was sleeping. The doctors could see a swelling descending from his left nostril. The doctors in their town did not want to do the operation. “It is too risky,” they said and advised the parents to take the child to Bangalore to a bigger hospital.

The desperate parents took the child to some private hospitals, but the doctors refused to admit the child too. This time the issue was with the deposit. Without a hefty sum of advance payment they would have nothing to do with the baby. The father being a salesman in a shop, could in no way afford the medical expenses of such a complicated surgery. They were helpless! The surgery had to be done early. There was a chance of the lesion getting infected and the infection spreading to the brain if delayed any longer. It was as if they was no light at the end of the tunnel.

Little Omkar laying peacefully in his mothers arms
   

It was at this time that they came to know from a distant relative about Sai Baba’s Super-Specialty Hospital in Whitefield. They also learnt to their great delight that the hospital specialized in such cases and what was more, the treatment was totally free of cost! They immediately came to our Hospital with hope in their hearts.

After the initial checkup and medical investigations the baby was diagnosed as having ‘Fronto-nasal encephaloceole’, or in other words, the brain tissue was prolapsing into the nose.

Baby Omkar was admitted immediately and he underwent an exploration after a craniotomy. The brain tissue which was prolapsing through the roof of the nose was put back inside the brain. The roof of the nose was reformed with bone to prevent further chance of prolapse. This prevents any chance of brain infection in case the lining of nasal mucosa is lost.

The child responded well to the treatment. And Omkar today is hale and hearty. The parents say that, they are touched by the loving care, the doctors and nurses have shown to their child. When they return home, they want to share this love and faith with others. They are grateful to Mother Sai for this divine gift of health to their child.”

 

   
Baby Omkar

If one were to document the story of every patient that came to Swami’s Hospitals, both in Puttaparthi and Whitefield, it would be another epic – an epic of selfless love, an epic of loving kindness. And these stories are just two tiny grains of sand in the ocean of His infinite compassion for the forlorn and often-forgotten.

– Heart2Heart Team

 


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.

 




 
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Vol 4 Issue 09 - SEPTEMBER 2006
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