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Children of God

December 20, 2009
Varshini came back home yesterday. After 18 days in the ICU and 30 days in the hospital. Varshini is the 10 year old daughter of my very dear friends PK and Latha. Varshini used to suffer from epileptic seizures from her childhood. She has been in and out of hospitals due to her illness, and she came out stronger every time. Varshini attended Vidya Sudha a school meant for children with special needs, along with her mother. They took individual care according to the child’s need. They educated the mother also who had to continue the classes at home as well. This meant that Latha had to be with her daughter the whole day. The whole family rallied behind Varshini. Varshini’s sister long ago had learnt to take care of herself when her parents had to devote their time for Varshini. In due course Varshini had made tremendous progress. With her treatment and Latha’s immaculate care,she never had an epileptic episode for nearly 3 years, so much so that we all believed that the worst was over. She had started attending regular school and within a short period had become the darling of the students and teachers alike.

On that fateful day, night to be precise, she had a tiff with her mother and refused to say good-night to her and covered herself with the rug. To tease her further she lowered her rug and said “Good night daddy” and went to sleep. Probably those were the last words she spoke in the last 1 month. Around 4 in the morning she started having seizures. The doctor who treats her is a little far off from their house, but they had an arrangement with another doctor near her house who knew her medical history, to give her first aid before she could be admitted to the hospital. The doctor was woken up and he promptly came to his clinic, as my friend reached there with his daughter. The initial drug of choice in such conditions is lorazepam, but unfortunately Varshini had developed hypersensitivity to the drug and on an earlier occasion had a respiratory arrest lasting a few minutes when this drug was administered by the same doctor. My friend reminded the doctor again about her hypersensitivity to Lorazepam, to which the doctor said, “I will take care, please wait outside”. No one is clear what happened afterwards. Varshini had a cardiac arrest and no one knows how long it was before she was revived. But it was long enough for her vital organs like the liver, kidney and brain to shut down. She was admitted in the paediatric ICU.

There she was invaded by peritoneal dialysis, ventilator to assist her breathing, a nasogastric tube for feeding and a urinary catheter to drain her urine. The links are to help you understand what the poor girl had to undergo. For 18 days she was attached to all these intrusions. She was put on a sedative so that she will not knock these machines around. She opened her eyes on the 8th day, but she was not able to talk or recognize anyone. She could only cry like a newborn to indicate her needs like hunger, thirst or even pain. The parents did everything to spark her memory; played her the songs she liked, read her stories, called her by pet names that she used to enjoy, touched her, and hugged her, but to no avail. To this day Varshini remains like that. There has been only a very slight improvement that we can at best call as wishful thinking. Whose fault is this? Who is responsible for putting a 10 year old through all this? Was it the doctor who gave her a wrong medication? Is it her Karma? Can she be called God’s child, but which parent would punish their children thus for whosoever’s mistake? WHO?

Varshini is a strong girl and I strongly believe that she will come back better than ever. With support from her parents who have gone through this whole ordeal bravely. And with wishes from well meaning people. Well-wishers like you. As Lord Tennyson said,”More things are wrought by prayers than this world dream of”, let us fervently trust that Varshini will bounce back to her normal self through our prayers. Our collective prayers. Believer or non believer, I entreat you to include Varshini in your prayers and wish her well.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2009 23:36

    She will come back stronger than ever! Blessings to her, her parents who love her and the sister who learnt to care for herself and for you for writing this.

  2. December 24, 2009 08:03

    Most distressing. With proper treatment she may become normal again. If you rely on prayers only and attribute this episode to her karma, it will be a sorry affair. Remember, no miracles can ever happen. I have had personal experiences of similar things in the past.

  3. December 24, 2009 09:36

    Epilepsy is due to irregular electric activity in the brain. It may be due to genetic factors or hemorrhage in the brain (very often during Caesarian section) or meningitis. If a child is affected he or she must not be exposed to TV – the flickering on the screen may trigger the seizure. Lorezapam (Ativan) is used to treat anxiety associated with depression and a few people may be allergic.But it does not cause cardiac arrest. There are better anti-convulsants for regular use or even surgery. My sister-in-law Aparna has treated many children successfully. The doctor might have injected the child with some powerful anti-convulsant, which might have caused cardiac arrest. This is a very serious situation and must be treated by neurologists and neurosurgeons. I entirely agree with Gaurav. No miracles can ever happen. Some action must be taken and that too urgently.

  4. December 24, 2009 13:00

    Terrible! For God's sake,get a good neurologist or neurosurgeon immediately. Are there no good doctors in Chennai? Forget Lord Tennyson and all that stuff. What we need is action and not prayers. Have you not heard of Aruna Shanbaug who is in a coma for the last 36 years in KEM Hospital in Bombay and on whose behalf an euthanasia petition has been submitted to the Supreme Court? Urgent action needed now.

  5. December 24, 2009 21:35

    @ Shail, Thanks. Knew I could count on your wishes. Will be glad to pass on my share of blessing to the little one.@ Gaurav, Soumya and Sneha, Thank you for your concern.She has`been a patient Dr. V. Vishwanathan the renowned paediatric neurologist. He continues to treat her. Check his credentials here

  6. December 25, 2009 01:46

    Wish you a Merry Christmas. Sneha and I just attended the Midnight Mass in Shillong and prayed for the speedy recovery of Varshini.If you had mentioned the name of Dr. V. Viswanathan we would not have been so much agitated. So must have been Uncle. Don't you know how Priyadidi almost lost her life due to blatant negligence by a high-profile cardiologist in the recent past? I am glad that Varshini continues to be treated by Dr.V.V. Action first, prayers next. For many, it is the reverse. Please convey our best wishes to the parents of Varshini for her speedy recovery.

  7. December 25, 2009 07:42

    A Merry Christmas! I am very much relieved on knowing that the child is under the care of Dr. V. Viswanathan. Hope she will make a full recovery. At first, I thought that the parents would leave everything in God's hands. Even God wants action first and words later. (Bhagwad Gita) This is the situation in many families and when it gets out of hand they rush to a specialist. The position here is that we cannot rely upon a doctor, though he may possess high qualifications. You know what happened to Priya. Dr. Viswanathan is a most respected doctor and I am sure that he will cure the girlMy prayers will be with Varshini for her to get a full recovery.

  8. December 26, 2009 15:41

    Very disturbing & distressing to read this. Good to know that the child is in capable hands. God give the parents and Vashini the strength to go through this phase. We must do what needs to be done and only then God will do his part.

  9. December 27, 2009 19:48

    All of us here in London, Pannu, Ashish, Vicky, Carol, Hema and Siddharth and myself pray that little Varshini will be completely cured at the earliest. No doubt, Uncle Gaurav, Soumya and Sneha were upset over the issue. They were not aware of the fact that the child was in good hands. Please convey our good wishes to her parents. Archie

  10. December 28, 2009 12:46

    Dr. Vishwanath (Nungambakkam?) was my 3 nieces' doctor, for a long time and everyone says that he is a good doctor. I am really sorry to hear about Varshini. Prayers definitely help. I am sure she will come out well. I called my sister-in-law just now and she says, he is still treating his patients very well. Our best wishes for her parents too. Nowadays medical facilities have improved so much. She is going to be alright soon.

  11. December 28, 2009 23:19

    @ Soumya,Sneha, Gaurav, my mistake that I didn't mention about VV. Thanks for your concern and prayers.@Ajitha,Thanks for your wishes@Archie & the gang Thanks a ton for taking time time to comment and offer your wishes.@Maradhi Manni, Nandri, thanks, Dhanyavaad. 🙂

  12. December 29, 2009 02:11

    Yes, blessings to Varshini, her sister, and parents and prayers for all!

  13. December 29, 2009 20:00

    I am unable to associate the Varshini in my memory with the Varshini you have described. I frist met her in Melwyn's wedding. She was hyperactive and made her parents run behind her and was literally centre of attraction that night. Very sad that such a cute looking girl is suffering so much. I wish her a speedy recovery!

  14. December 29, 2009 21:03

    @Bob, Thank you for your wishes & Prayers@Charusree, It is a great tragedy to see her like this.I am sure our prayers will be heard.

  15. January 1, 2010 12:23

    Prayers for her and her family, to come out of this terrible time, and the terrible condition. Thank you too, Govind for sharing: at this time of the year when renewal and rejuvenation are the symbols we seek, may Varshini be blessed with that hope of recovery, and come back as that self same sweet girl of her family and friends.Indeed, there is a strength in prayer, and in faith, that will help them through these times.God bless! And may the bestest of best things happen, this new year, to all! As Tiny Tim says, in "Christmas Carol" (Charles Dickens), "May God Bless us all" most especially, Varshini and her family.

  16. January 2, 2010 19:27

    May God bless Varshini & make her well soon

  17. January 2, 2010 23:33

    @Usha,Thanks for your wishes to Varshini@Venuman,Thanks for the concern.

  18. January 4, 2010 17:57

    My family and I will pray for Varshini's speedy recovery.

  19. January 5, 2010 18:40

    Awww, my heart goes out to Varshini n her family… Good to read she is in capable hands. May God give the family the strength to go through this phase.

  20. January 5, 2010 19:44

    this is an opportunity for God to show He exists.!knowing Him, He will not close all doors at the same time, the effort is to hang in there till you find the right door.There will always be one door open.Please convey this to Varshini's family.

  21. January 5, 2010 22:06

    @Dreamer,Thank you so much.@Aarti,Thanks for your concern and prayers.@Gyanban,I will pass on your message to Varshini's family. It will mean a lot to them. Thanks mate.

  22. January 6, 2010 21:45

    "nallavan oruvan naduve ninral aratha vaduvum arum". Nal ennathudan thangal thodangiya intha kuzhanthaikana irai vazhipattil, nangalum kaikorkirom. Kadavulai nambinor kaivida padar. Varshini, miga viraivil, iyalbu vazhkaiku thirumba, ellam valla iraivanai prarthikindrom.

  23. January 7, 2010 19:10

    I will honestly pray for her! May God grant her the strength to emerge stronger than ever!

  24. January 7, 2010 21:16

    @SS, Mikka Nandri@Swaram, Thanks a ton.

  25. January 10, 2010 14:25

    🙂 Prayers sent out for Varshini 🙂 and am sure she'll emerge stronger than ever. Dropped by ur blog for the 1st time today …interesting perspectives I must say 🙂 keep up the writing

  26. January 10, 2010 18:57

    @Gauri,Thanks for dropping by and for your good wishes for Varshini. God bless.

  27. January 17, 2010 23:28

    Hi, this is PK, Varshini's father. I am happy to tell you that Varshini is making progress. She has started recognizing our voices and is responding with a smile which is her nature.Thanks to Govind for sharing our problem and all of you for your prayers. Kindly pray for her full recovery.Your prayers have added immense strength to us.

  28. January 24, 2010 01:27

    Thanks PK. For sharing this. We will definitely pray for her speedy recovery. Varshini will be good very soon.

  29. August 28, 2010 23:36

    Saw this post today… how is Varshini now? My prayers and best wishes are with Varshini and her family.

  30. January 6, 2011 11:30

    >Very touching account of Varshini's condition. May she recover fast in the New Year and be back to being the darling of everyone. My prayers are with her and her family.

  31. January 6, 2011 21:51

    >@ Abha Midha, Thank you for your wishes. God bless.

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