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The New Light in the Eyes of Little Sai

A little one was born; he was bright, bubbly and beautiful. He crawled towards his mother at her faintest call with vigour and joy. But when someone offered a colorful candy, it did not seem to interest the four-month old. Only later, the parents realised, to their horror, that their precious one, Sai, was actually blind. They were poor and clueless. But soon, thanks to grace of the Lord, they did find light at the end of the tunnel, and little Sai today, full of smiles, never fails to latch on to his mother’s saree! How did this happen? Read this ‘eye-opening’ account.

Though she could not put her finger on it, Janaki knew something was wrong with her son, V. Sai. She lived in Bedupalli, a village adjacent to Puttaparthi and worked as a daily wage labourer.

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Sai Healing Touch
 
Helping V. Sai see a little light

Sai was Janaki’s first baby. He seemed different from the children of his age. Why, her own sister had delivered a baby girl the same day and that too on the bed right next to her in the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital (SSSGH), Prasanthi Nilayam. The girl, Vijaya, would react instantaneously to all her mother’s gestures. Anything bright, the girl would try to catch and put in her mouth, like all babies did.

Sai, however, would just sit at one place looking up, stubbornly refusing to respond to any gestures whatsoever. Even brightly wrapped candies and chocolates did not seem to interest Sai. He, however, would respond to Janaki’s voice and try to crawl to her.

Initially Janaki’s family thought Sai would get better as he grew up. They did not suspect that something could be wrong with Sai’s eyes, because they were big, beautiful and looked healthy. “Eyes could hardly be a cause for concern,” they thought. Even when Sai was around 4 months old the problem seemed to persist.

Eyes that Did Not Know Light

Alarmed, Janaki went back to the SSSGH, Prasanthi Nilayam. The doctors there did a check up and referred Sai to the Ophthalmology department of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), Prasanthigram.   

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Sai Healing Touch
 
A congenital cataract clouds or completely blocks the light coming into the lens of the eye, preventing sight

In October 2008, Janaki brought Sai to SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram. One look at Sai’s eyes and the alarm bells started ringing. The doctors found that though Sai’s eyes looked healthy, he could not see anything due to a congenital cataract in his eyes.

Eye surgeon, Dr. K.S.R.K. Prasad from the Department of Ophthalmology explained that cases such as Sai’s are serious and had to be taken up as an emergency. “Due to the cataract in the eyes, light does not enter into his eyes, and as a result the visual centre of the brain does not get activated. If left unattended, the visual centre of the brain would become totally unresponsive leading to suppression of vision,” he explained.  

After a thorough check-up of her child, Janaki was given a date to bring Sai for surgery. She was obviously concerned. “None of the people in our village had ever undergone a surgery. And mine was a child of such a tender age. I was terribly concerned,” she said recalling those painful moments.  

But Janaki knew once the surgery was over, a new world would dawn upon Sai, which had been kept hidden from him.

According to the ophthalmic surgeons at SSSIHMS, surgery on children is challenging. “Children’s eyes are delicate. So, extreme precaution has to be maintained on the part of the surgeons, while performing the surgery,” they added.

“Your son will see!” – Sai Hospital Surgeons

Throughout the surgery, Janaki and her husband sat outside the operation theatre, waiting anxiously. As the surgeons emerged from the operating room, Sai’s worried parents rushed to the surgeons, seeking to know whether their beloved son will be able to see again. “There is nothing to worry about. Your son will see.” The surgeons’ confident reply immediately lifted the pall of gloom from their faces. “We felt as if we had been relieved of some great burden,” Sai’s parents said.

What added to their relief was the fact that they did not have to spend even a single paisa for the surgery. Following Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s philosophy of free health care, Bhagavan Baba’s Hospitals provide treatment totally free of charge.

SSSIHMS Prasanthi Nilayam SSSIHMS Prasanthi Nilayam SSSIHMS Prasanthi Nilayam
The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthi Nilayam

After the bandages were removed, Sai’s parents were advised to exercise extreme caution with Sai’s eyes to make sure they remained free from infection. And soon, Sai could see clearly. His parents were ecstatic. “It was such a great feeling when Sai looked at me with inquisitive eyes. It was the first time he had seen his own mother! It was like my son had been born again,” Janaki said.  

A few months after the surgery, Janaki, accompanied by her father, Ganganna and her son returned for a review. The doctors were pleased with the difference the surgery had brought about in Sai’s life. 

Janaki, while trying to draw away Sai, who was pulling hard at her ear, said he had become extremely playful after the surgery. According to Janaki, Sai is now able to identify things clearly and also respond to gestures. Even as she said this, Janaki showed a candy bar to Sai which he caught hold of immediately and began feasting on it.

Now, Janaki wanted to get up from her chair, but Sai was not ready to dismount from her lap; he latched on strongly to his mother’s hand, much to her delight. “Did you see that?” Ganganna asked. “How clearly he is able to see now! That is the change brought about by the grace of Bhagavan,” he added, his face filled with excitement.

“Eyes are vital organs of the body. The work done by the ophthalmology department at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, is changing people’s life completely. Take for example the case of Sai,” Dr. Prasad said, “with the surgery performed by us, he will not have to depend on anybody in future and he can become an able breadwinner for the family.”

Success Comes with His Grace Alone

Sai Healing Touch
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Sai can now see that he is the little light of Janaki's life
 

Outside the ophthalmology operation theatre complex at SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram is a board displaying the words, “Sai is the Surgeon,” which, in simple words, summaries the philosophy of the Hospital.

According to the doctors of the ophthalmology department, there have been several cases since the inception of this discipline in November 1994, where even the most complex and difficult surgeries have been carried out without a hiccup.

“Many a times, only after the surgery is over, we have felt that we could not have performed the surgery without a divine force guiding us. It is clearly Bhagavan Baba who has been directing us through out, invisibly,” they said. “For everybody in the Hospital, Bhagavan Baba is a Living and a Moving Presence,” declare the doctors summing up their heart-felt views.

And in the ward, Sai was excited and too busy playing with his mother, while she was just grateful to the Lord, after whom she had named her son with the hope that He would always take care of his little one, and He really did!

~ Heart2Heart Team
in association with SSSIHMS

 

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

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Vol 7 Issue 06 - JUNE 2009
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