It was a warm, pleasant day at the Pune university campus. I was here for an alumni meet, which had just taken place the day before. In my agenda, I had a couple of engagements before leaving back to my home in Bangalore. One of them was to meet my cousin who lived close to the university. Happy to be back at my alma-mater after a long time(around 18yrs precisely), I walked through the university campus, recollecting all the pleasant memories I had there when I studied my post-graduation in mid-90’s. I took a bus and reached my cousin’s place. She greeted me with such warmth, and made some delicious ‘poha’. After spending some memorable time with her family, I started back to the university campus.

At around lunch time, while I was waiting for my friends to join me for lunch, I randomly picked up my mobile to talk to my mother. I had no idea then, what that phone call had in store for me. The first time when it rang, it was only ringing and no one picked the call. So, I tried again. And I was puzzled to hear, my mother’s neighbour’s voice at the other end. She told me my mother had fallen in the bathroom and was taken to the hospital as she was unconscious for about 30mins. My heart sank. I could not really understand what to make out of it. Was it that my mother’s life was in danger? Or was it just a normal fall? With nervous tension, I called my sister who was with my mother at the hospital. She sounded a bit worried and said the doctors were doing all tests to figure out why mom had the fall. I told her everything would be alright and hung up.

But something within me told, things were not so straight forward. I wanted to be by my mother’s side. I spoke to my husband and told him everything. He told me not to worry and booked the next available flight to Hyderabad where my mother lived with my sister. With the help of my friends, I reached the Pune airport well in advance. I bade goodbye to my friends and entered the airport lounge after completing the formalities. As I sat waiting for the announcement of my flight, a multitude of thoughts crossed my mind. I did not want to think deep too. So, I started chanting God’s name, which I often do. It always relieves me of my tension. Then came the announcement that my flight was delayed by 2hrs. I thought to myself, God is testing me(not knowing the tests He had in store for my sister and me in the next few days were of far bigger magnitude). This was just the beginning of His tests. I kept chanting God’s name, I made a call to my sister to know what was happening at the hospital. She was worried as she told me that the doctors had diagnosed it as brain hemorrhage. I felt my heart sink even deeper. Because the only few cases I had heard of brain hemorrhage had resulted in coma or death for the patient. I started chanting God’s name even harder. After a few anxious hours, I finally boarded the flight to Hyderabad.

On reaching Hyderabad, I took a taxi to the hospital. It was an hour’s journey. My heart pounded with anxiety as I entered the hospital. There I saw my mother, lying down, groaning feebly in pain. I touched her hand. She looked up and gave a ‘Oh, so you came’ kind-of-a-look. My sister, cousin brother and brother-in-law were busy with the formalities of getting her shifted to the ward. All along from morning till night 8PM, the emergency doctors had only diagnosed her illness, but no other action had been taken yet. Finally an hour later they shifted her to a special room.

In the room, my mom continued to be in pain, she complained of headache. The doctor advised us to feed her some food and then give her a painkiller to relieve her pain a little. We tried to feed her, but she could not eat much, she kept complaining that she felt like vomiting. The doctors were planning to do an angiogram of the brain the next day, after which they would decide on whether to proceed with the surgery or not. A little later in the night, suddenly mom’s groans became very faint. Her eyes rolled and face underwent a sudden change. We panicked and called for the nurse and doctor. The doctor who came rushing, kept telling us, “sorry, her chances of survival are low”. She had ‘fits’ which happens in every case of brain hemorrhage. She was rushed to the semi-ICU immediately.

While we kept praying and trying to gather courage, the doctor kept telling us that her condition was critical and if she continued to have fits, they would not be able to do angiogram and hence the surgery. He said that they could only observe her condition till morning to see if it improved. He also advised us to shift her to another hospital if we wanted. My sister and me were too shocked to react. We decided against moving her out. I continued to pray silently. About 2hrs later, my mother started responding. When the doctor came next morning, he was surprised to see her eyes open and talk. Our silent prayers were being answered.

During the day, angiogram of her brain was conducted. The results determined that it was a case of Cerebral aneurysm, where one of the blood vessels ruptured causing spilling of blood inside the brain. The doctor said that if she had one more such aneurysm within the next 24hrs, it could prove dangerous. Thankfully she did not have another one. One more day passed without the surgery as the doctors wanted the oncologists to certify her, since she had a history of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma a couple of years ago. So the next morning she was finally ready for surgery after getting a go-ahead from oncology department too.

The surgery took about 4-5hours. My sister, my cousin brother(who was a pillar of strength) and I sat anxiously outside the operation theater, chatting for some time, praying for some time. After about 4hrs, the nurses called us to take a look at mom. The surgery was successful, they had put a surgical clip to stop the blood flow in the brain. But she was still unconscious. The doctors told us that she should be conscious by next 24hrs. We were relieved. Our prayers have been answered by God, we thought.

Aneurysm Surgical Clip

Aneurysm Surgical Clip

The next day in the afternoon, one of the ICU attendants called us and told us that mom would be brought on a wheel chair and we could spend some time with her. We were thrilled to hear this. But when she came out, we were shocked to see her. Mom was like a zombie. She had her eyes open, but no sensation, no memory, no pain, nothing at all. It was the most painful thing to see her in such a state. The doctors then told us that she would take a week to get back to normalcy. After the initial pain, we consoled each other that things would be fine in a week’s time. The doctors also advised us that the more we interact with her, the sooner she would recover.

With heavy hearts, we tried our best to make her interact with us. We played her favourite devotional songs on her mobile. We showed her pictures of our families. We asked our relatives to come over and meet her so that she could recollect something. But no, she remained in the same state for more than 10days. On one of the days the doctors even told us that we were not doing enough to make her alright. This statement only gave us more pain. We continued doing our best and continued praying.

After a few days, the main surgeon who had gone on a week-long vacation after surgery came back and told us that mom would take more than 3-4 months to recover. It was a setback for us. But we continued our efforts and kept praying.

In all these days, the one force that kept driving us was the Almighty. Even though we did not see much progress in mom for a long time, something within us told us that He was watching and He would take care. As they say, miracles do happen. We believe they do. We saw one happening right in front of our eyes. God did answer us.

One fine day, mom suddenly started recognizing people. The doctors were astonished to see her progress. Their assessment of her progress was proved wrong. It gave us a hope that it may not take 3-4months after all for her to recover. She responded when people spoke and nodded her head. She could still not speak and eat on her own then. We were feeding her through the riles tube. But the fact that she showed little improvement made us more hopeful and grateful to God. With his blessings, we continued our efforts, slowly she started speaking and subsequently after a few more days, she started eating on her own too.

As I write now, mom continues to get better with each passing day. She has started walking a little. Time and again God has shown how kind He is. God listens to sincere prayers and REALLY shows miracles. My faith in Him has grown many-fold.