A MIRACLE OF HOPE
Anthony David Swaroop Kumar
She was struggling between life and death. She lay unconscious on a bed in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit of a high tech Hospital. The monitors were beeping as the intravenous fluids were seeping into her body. But she lay there, apparently lifeless.
“It’s an infection of the brain tissue. There is little hope,” explained the neurologist grimly. “However, we are doing all that any one can possibly can do”. As I stepped out of the ward in a daze, I met her parents. Her father had a haggard and harried look. Her mother was in tears. How different was the scene a month or so ago, I mused.
Anita was a brilliant medical student in our College. She had just completed her first full year at medical school In all the tests so far she had been consistently in the top five of her classmates, in all the three Pre-clinical subjects. She also had a very endearing manner and was well known to most of the faculty. They just finished their first set of examinations and were waiting for the results.
Just a few days before the results were announced, Anita fell ill and was in bed with what everyone thought was a minor fever. But she deteriorated drastically in a few days. Her doctors were perplexed with her progress. She was not responding to any of their drugs. None of the investigations pointed to any specific disease. Finally, it became clear that she was suffering from a rare form of encephalitis. But what was the root cause for this? None of the specialists were able to conclude.
Her parents were devastated, understandably. Their only daughter, Anita, in her late teens. They had such high hopes on her. They thought that she would become a doctor and look after them in their old age. But now this! Will she survive at all?
While they were battling with her life, the results came and Anita had as usual come out in the top three of her class. What shall we do now? The parents agonized. Her dad decided to devote all his time for her. Both of them decided to hope, against hope. They spent all their money and energy and went to every possible specialist in the field. They got their friends abroad to enquire about possible treatment. They finally imported some drugs from Japan for Anita.
Their only aim in life was this. Anita should live. Months went by and they researched earnestly. They did all they could possibly do, in their quest for the recovery of their child. They went to every pilgrim place, shrine, church, mosque or holy place they could. Everyone who knew about them prayed for their daughter’s health. They lit candles, did penances, and offered gifts to many gods. Friends were praying to different gods for Anita. There was a group of Christian believers in Anita’s college. They began to pray sincerely for her miraculous cure.
Every little movement she made, every word she whispered, strengthened the flame of hope in the heart of the parents. Slowly, step by step, Anita began to recover. Of course, the journey back was hard and strenuous. Months and months of slow uphill recovery at enormous cost to them. They were being financially and mentally drained. But hope did never die out. Anita’s friends both amongst her classmates and the faculty also continued to hope as they prayed for her. This hope began to burn brightly till she slowly returned to a near normal life. It was tough. Muscle retraining and laboriously trying to build life anew. But it was worth it.
A little over a year had passed since those tense moments in the ICU. Anita was ready to take up her studies again. Another couple of months later she was back riding her old scooter.
Every time I come across her, I picture her lying between life and death in bed. An exclamation of praise and thanks to God escapes silently from my heart! She is an example of how hope transcends despair, in this day and age. She is indeed, a living miracle of hope.
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© 2004: Dr.M.A.David S Kumar