JavaScript Menu, DHTML Menu Powered By Milonic
logo
Go to Home Page
Radio Sai Home Page
link_icon
link_icon
link_icon
spacer
Home > Healing Touch >  
a pure desire... and a profound blessing

How God guided Gayatri to put her worst foot forward
and transformed her from being physically challenged
to a charismatic character brimming with inspiration and inner joy

Driven solely by the highest aspiration to serve in the hallowed premises of Bhagavan Baba’s ashram, a young lady was willing to give it her all, despite her crippling polio.  All she prayed for was the special chance and in the process, she discovered untapped inner powers, a healthcare system that sought out the root of her disability, and which helped her overcome her childhood malady.

Supporting herself on a stick that she had held across her frame, Gayatri stood in the calming atmosphere near the Ganesha idol facing the main entrance of Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram. Aarti to Lord Ganesha was in progress. With eyes closed, her mind floated gently on the soft strains of hymns and the wafting aroma of incense, as her soul soaked in the serenity of the moment.

“Yesterday was a bad day.”

Gayatri’s mind raced back. Though polio had completely crippled her right leg when she was three, and forced her to lead a dependent life, she never flinched. Nor did she pray to God to give her back her leg. Bearing her entire body weight on her healthy left leg and supporting herself on a stick, she had fought on.

A Pure Desire to Serve

Her family used to attend bhajans of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in her neighbourhood, and that was her first contact with Bhagavan. This was in the early nineties. She soon realised that Baba was none other than God in flesh and blood. The one desire she had was to go for seva, where she could serve as a volunteer at Prasanthi Nilayam, amid the Presence.

spacer
sai
 

For her family, fulfilling her wish was not an easy task. The family of six stayed in their small ancestral home in Gadwal town in the Mahboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh. Her father was a small time contractor, not earning much. A chunk of the family income came from a two room woman’s hostel that her mother ran in a part of their house. She was the third of four daughters, and the most unassuming.

From the beginning, she knew that a sound grounding in academics was the only way for her to a secure future. She strove hard. Known for her academic brilliance, she finally graduated in Bachelor of Arts with an astounding 80 per cent marks. Her parents and sisters never made her feel that she was physically challenged, they helped her in every way they could.

When she put forth her wish to go for seva at Prasanthi Nilayam, her parents to make sure that they fulfilled her wish, put together some money and sent her along with the other volunteers from Mahboobnagar district in December 2006.

Hopes Dashed Due to Disability

But the day she reached Prasanthi Nilayam, her only dream seemed to crumble. Considering the difficulty she faced while walking, the officials of the district seva dal, remained undecided on whether to assign her a duty to perform as part of the seva or not.

As a rule, a typical sevadal volunteer is expected to be on her feet most of the time. Naturally, it was feared that Gayatri would find it extremely difficult to cope with the duties.

At the possibility of losing the opportunity of performing seva in Bhagavan’s divine presence, she had cried the whole day.

Despair Drives Her to Pray for Strength in Both Feet

No wonder when she participated in the Ganesha aarthi on that momentous day, for the first time in her life Gayatri then asked Bhagavan to make her stand on her two feet, so that she too could have the privilege to perform selfless service at His holy abode.

That night when sleep finally overtook her, she had a lovely dream. Gayatri dreamt that Bhagavan in His ochre robe was standing right in front of her. He then put His hand on Gayatri’s head and said, “Do not worry, I will take care of everything”. Walking away, He gave her a red rose.

That night when sleep finally overtook her, she had a lovely dream. Gayatri dreamt that Bhagavan in His ochre robe was standing right in front of her. He then put His hand on Gayatri’s head and said, “Do not worry, I will take care of everything”. Walking away, He gave her a red rose.

In the morning, Gayatri woke up bright and full of anticipation. Her sadness alleviated and her large bright eyes shone forth, as her face wore a curious smile. Somehow she felt the auspicious dream from Bhagavan augured a very special event ahead…

It was still very early in the day and Gayatri’s eyes were closed, lost in absorbing the tranquillity of the serene morning, even as the priest of the Ganesh Temple was waving the camphor steadily in circles and finally raising the fire high in the direction of the devotees marking the conclusion of the morning rituals.

Waking Reality Confirms Dream Experience

The aarti was over and Gayatri opened her eyes. From a distance she saw the priest descending the steps of the temple and distributing flowers offered to the Lord Ganesha to the assembled devotees. Suddenly, the priest turned and walked up straight to Gayatri. Picking up a red rose from the bunch of flowers in his hand, the priest handed the flower to her. One look at the rose and Gayatri eyes opened wide.

“It was exactly the rose, which Swami had given me in the dream. The resemblance was unmistakable. I could not believe it was all really true,” Gayatri said.

“It was exactly the rose, which Swami had given me in the dream. The resemblance was unmistakable. I could not believe it was all really true,” Gayatri said.

That night again Bhagavan came in Gayatri’s dream, again the reassurance, and another red rose. Again after the aarti, the next day, the priest handed over the exact red rose, she had seen in the dream. It was as if Bhagavan was saying, yesterday was no coincidence.

First Encounter with Sai Medical Counselling Ushers Hope

That day, Gayatri’s uncle asked her to accompany him to the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital (SSSGH), in Puttaparthi. He wanted to find out whether a prosthetic leg could somehow be fitted to Gayatri’s diseased leg, so that she could walk again. The doctors at SSSGH taking a look at Gayatri, told her that what she needed was surgery on the incapacitated leg at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), Prasanthigram, which could bring back strength to her lost right leg.

Both Gayatri and her uncle were surprised, when told that everything, right from the operation to the medicines, would be provided absolutely free of cost. They were also told that none of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Hospitals charged anything from the patients.

Information Echoes Dream Assurance

“The words of Swami came back to me,” Gayatri said. “I will take care of you, don’t worry,” He had said. “I felt certain that I would stand on my two legs and will be able to come for seva,” said Gayatri exuding joy.

“The words of Swami came back to me,” Gayatri said. “I will take care of you, don’t worry,” He had said. “I felt certain that I would stand on my two legs and will be able to come for seva,”
said Gayatri exuding joy.

Gayatri is 21 but looks barely 15. Polio had inflicted Gayatri when she was three years old. In her 13th year Gayatri’s family visited a renowned hospital close to her home. The doctors who checked Gayatri told her, there was little hope of her walking again. “We cannot do anything. The limb is too deformed for us to do anything. She is too weak, even if we perform the surgery, she will not be able to recover,” were some of the answers Gayatri’s family had received. Those who did not understand her pain, mocked her. Others who did understand, would try and sympathise with her. Gayatri never let the insults demoralise her or the sympathy soften her.

The visit to the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital gave her new hope and information about the super specialised healthcare available at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. This time around, she returned to her town, filled with both happiness and sadness. Happy because she had now seen a new hope after years of a difficult life with a handicap, but sad too as she could not have her much desired opportunity to serve.

Face-to-face with God’s Surgeons

Early next year, on January 2, 2007, Gayatri entered SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram for the first time. On the first day itself, all the tests were done and the Head of Department, Orthopaedics, Dr. Kailash Rao, gave Gayatri an operation date for July 4, 2007.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthi Nilayam

One of the surgeons who performed surgery on Gayatri said that due to polio in her early childhood, Gayatri’s muscles had become paralysed. The paralysis of the muscles had deformed the right leg down from the waist. Gayatri’s condition was described as Anterior Poliomyelitis Sequelae.

Thorough Diagnosis Traces Root of the Problem

Sai Healing Touch
spacer
Gayatri's hip joint was corrected by releasing the muscles that were twisting it out of place
 

According to Dr. Kailash Rao, Gayatri’s hip had flexed and had turned away from the body, while the knee was bent in. Gayatri’s right foot was pointing out of the body. The muscle function was minimal and she used to support her body on her left leg and used a stick for support.

The surgeons, then decided to first correct the hip joint and then later correct the knee and the ankle. The first surgery was performed on July 4, 2007. The muscles around the hip joint were released and the hip joint corrected. According to the doctor treating Gayatri her muscles after being released became stronger and better.

After the operation, Gayatri was put on traction so that the length of the limb was corrected. She was also made to undergo physiotherapy for a month to improve the functionality of her operated limb. The doctors advised her to walk wearing callipers for six months. After six months she was called for the second operation. In the second operation, her knee and ankle were corrected.

Second Surgery Sets Stage for Miraculous Recovery

After the second operation was performed, to everyone’s surprise, Gayatri started taking her first steps, taking support of a crutch without even undergoing physiotherapy. “After the second operation, she did not require any physiotherapy,” the Head of the Orthopaedics Department said. Still, for adequate recovery and normal functioning of the right limb, Gayatri was suggested to wear callipers for six months.

Gayatri who had come for a check up in November 2008 is now able to stand on her two feet and walk. Her steps are slow and she sometimes uses a crutch for support. But doctors treating her have said that two months later Gayatri would be able to walk freely without any support.

“The rate of her recovery has surprised us,” the doctors said. Though such a recovery does occur in some cases, it is however pretty rare. We have seen cases in which after the surgery is performed the patients have to take the support of the callipers for the rest of their life. But this was a unique case, in which the recovery was much greater than we expected it to be.”

“The rate of her recovery has surprised us,” the doctors said. Though such a recovery does occur in some cases, it is however pretty rare. We have seen cases in which after the surgery is performed the patients have to take the support of the callipers for the rest of their life. But this was a unique case, in which the recovery was much greater than we expected it to be,” they said.

spacer
sai

“But for us it is the happiness that the patient reflects after recovery, which is far more important,” said the Head of the Orthopaedics Department, SSSIHMS, Prashanthigram.

Walking Towards God, One Small Step At a Time

For her part Gayatri is ecstatic. Taking small and cautious steps, sometimes taking support of her mother, she is slowly reclaiming what polio had snatched from her in her childhood.

Though she is gradually coming to terms with the metamorphosis, what is surprising her and giving her joy at the same time is the reaction of her friends.

“Many of my friends could not recognise me at all,” she chuckles. “They just kept staring at me, as if I was a stranger, and I used to guffaw when I saw their jaws drop in surprise,” Gayatri said. “I had phoned almost all my friends and they came to congratulate me. That feeling was so hard to describe.

“I had never prayed to Swami to grant me use of my leg. I had told him that I wanted to be able to perform seva at Prasanthi Nilayam. The moment I am able to walk on my feet freely, the first thing I would do is to come for seva,” Gayatri said.

“Swami has given me a gift of a new life and it is my duty to do whatever little I can do on my part to show my gratitude. First I will perform seva, everything else can wait,” she added.

This young lady’s astonishing experience is a sure testimony of the divine grace that flows into our lives when our hearts and motivation are set on the path of virtuous conduct. If our minds are directed by purity of intent then there is no obstacle that can stand in our way as we will find ourselves walking beside a God who is literally guiding our every step.

~ Heart2Heart Team
in association with SSSIHMS

To access all the previous issues of Healing Touch, please click here.

Dear Reader, did this article inspire you in any way? Would you like more such stories of patients treated in Swami's hospitals? Please write to us at [email protected] mentioning your name and country.  Thank you for your time.


spacer

link_icon
link_icon Write to Us at H2H
Vol 7 Issue 02 - FEBRUARY 2009
Best viewed in Internet Explorer - 1024 x 768 resolution.
© Copyright 2009 RadioSai Global Harmony
DHTML Menu by Milonic