Volume 8 - Issue 03
March 2010
Other Articles

REJOICING THE RETURN OF ‘JOY’...

 

The moving story of how an unfortunate dog bite mysteriously transformed a bubbly little kid into a completely docile and depressed, continuously complaining and crying little one. For his parents, life had become a ceaseless nightmare; their only source of constant joy was now the cause of their perennial sorrow.

However, everything changed once they stepped into the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bangalore in November 2009. Read this touching story by Sonia Aggarwal; it is yet another account of how this hospital in engaged in this mission of ‘Constructing Lives and Smiles’ on a daily basis for nearly a decade now.  

 

Sushmita and Ashish Chandra waited a long time before God blessed them with a little bundle of joy – and what better name could they give their son than Joy. The parents remember fondly that momentous day – Dec 3, 2002.

Little Joy Chandra came into the world bringing smiles and laughter to the lives of his parents. Like all bubbly kids, Joy loved to play football and cricket, eat chocolate and mithai (Indian sweets), and watch cartoons. School excited him and he was an exceptionally bright little student at kindergarten.

A Devastating Dog Attack

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However, six years later everything changed. On a beautiful summer’s day Sushmita had taken her son out for a walk to a nearby park. Suddenly a vicious dog attacked little Joy. The mother looked on in horror as the canine bit her son’s leg and left him bleeding profusely; joy started crying uncontrollably. Immediately he was taken to a local doctor who patched up Joy’s leg and everything seemed normal for about two months.

Then one day as Joy was playing with his toys, he sat down and couldn’t get up again. Try as they might, Sushmita and Ashish could not get their son to stand up. He started wailing in pain, and from that day he was unable to use his legs.

Sushmita recalls, “Joy had a problem in walking six months prior to this incident but the doctors gave him medicines and he was alright. Quite unexpectedly, two months after the dog bit him, this problem seemed to have recurred. My little one refused to walk and would continually shed tears and describe how the dog ate his flesh. I couldn’t do anything for him; I was absolutely helpless. As a mother, it was heart-breaking for me.”

 

Joy’s parents consulted many doctors in West Bengal but none could find anything wrong with him. All his X-rays, MRIs and ENGs declared him perfectly healthy.

The family is not well-off but they were comfortable with the income Ashish generated from his small business enterprise. In the next few months, however, they spent all their savings on doctors’ fees – in a futile attempt to find out what was wrong with their six-year old.

Joy refused to go anywhere – his best friends Sujoy and Sayak couldn’t understand why he asked them to go away when they came round to play with him. He adamantly declined to go to school. He threw a tantrum if anyone tried to feed him anything; pushing away even chocolate. If anyone switched on the television, he screamed. And to the family’s dismay and growing concern, he withdrew himself from everyone, even his father.

God Hears a Mother’s Anguish

“He would just lie in the bed and cry continuously. Often, when he was asleep, I would go into my room and weep my heart out; I couldn’t see my little one in this state,” says Sushmita recounting those nightmarish days. “My husband said nothing was wrong with Joy and that he would get better by himself. We had run out of money too, but I couldn’t just sit back and watch him suffer.

“It was at this time that a family friend told us about the Super-Specialty Hospital in Puttaparthi where treatment was offered free of cost.”

Ashish tried to dissuade his wife from taking their son to Puttaparthi fearing the burden of additional expenditure, but Sushmita decided that this was her only hope and booked their tickets.

And so on November 2009 the couple found themselves in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram. After several tests in the Department of Orthopaedics, the doctors referred Joy to see a Neurologist in their sister hospital, SSSIHMS, Bangalore.

Swami’s Doctors Utilise all their Expertise to Help Little Joy

The doctors at this Super Specialty Hospital in Whitefield, Bangalore concluded that Joy’s problem was purely a psychological one and accordingly started treating him with medicines, physiotherapy and counselling.

“There was nothing physically wrong with Joy. He had severe pain in his knee joints and seemed withdrawn, scared, depressed and was constantly crying. The chronic ache seemed to be a response of the nervous system to the dog bite. With the help of medicines prescribed by the psychiatrist and physiotherapy, we saw a substantial improvement in his state over the next ten days. The energy here is an important factor in healing psychological problems,” says Dr. Joshy, Senior Consultant, Department of Neurology.

 

Within two days of starting treatment, Joy could sit up in bed and could even be persuaded to straighten his legs for the first time in months. Gradually, he stopped his constant crying and started to eat.

“It was amazing. I have a lot of faith in Swami, and everyday I pray for my son to be able to walk again. Seeing Joy’s improvement, my faith has been strengthened. The doctors and nurses are so full of love here and speak so nicely to my little one – I think, that has been one of the key factors in his remarkable recovery,” says an overwhelmed Sushmita who spent two memorable weeks in Baba’s hospital taking care of her little one who was getting better every passing day.

Ms. Deepika Rani, the physiotherapist who worked with Joy, says, “Joy was unable to move his legs from the almost foetal-like position he was brought to us in, despite having no physical abnormality in his knees. We worked on straightening his legs and gently persuading him to stop weeping. By the time he was discharged in early December 2009, he was able to walk with support from his mother.”

Joy wouldn’t talk to us when we tried to speak to him. But at the end of the interview with his mother, he did pose for the camera and almost smiled. Actually, he even waved us ‘good bye’! We were left touched by his mother’s determination to heal her son - and faith in Swami that He would take care of her son.

When Joy’s parents didn’t bring him back for a follow-up check up after a month, we wondered whether he was still bed-ridden but were in for a pleasant surprise.

A Lasting Cure…and Wonderful Miracle

To the delight of his parents, Joy is a totally different boy from what he was a few months ago. He goes out to play football with his friends. He’s back at school and enjoying it. He delights in cartoons, action movies and listening to music. He eats with relish and has re-discovered the joy of eating chocolate!

The happiness in his mother’s voice is apparent when she tells us over the phone that her son is well again. “Swami has cured him! He can walk again… he eats by himself and goes out to play. I can’t believe it! Sairam!” Sushmita’s voice chokes with tears that have welled up in her eyes.

Joy has returned the much-longed-for joy to his family once again!

A little boy can walk again – how was this miracle brought about? Was it his mother’s love and determination to make her son well again? Was it the doctors’ expert and compassionate care? Was it God’s response of Grace to an innocent suffering child? Or the power of healing suffused in God’s own temple of holistic care? It was a combination of all these and probably much more. We can never underestimate what pure love can do!

For more information about these Hospitals, please visit www.sssmt.org.in

- Heart2Heart Team
in association with SSSIHMS


 

 

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