Temple of Healing
VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 6, NOVEMBER-DECEMBER, 2018
LOVE IN ACTION
Nagendra Rao, with his wife Satyawati and son Rupesh.
"Just once if I see Swami, I will tightly hold his feet and tell Him that it is only because of Him that I am alive today."
It was just a chance meeting with a stranger on a train to Hyderabad that changed Nagendra anna life.
Nagendra anna, his wife Satyawati and their son Rupesh, had run from pillar to post in order to overcome a seemingly insurmountable problem, which had suddenly burst into their lives. In the ward of SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, just before discharge, when we spoke to Rupesh, he quietly confided, “We thought we had lost him”, referring to his father. But our dearest Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba had other plans.
Fifty-seven years old Nagendra anna worked as a mason in the city of Vijaywada, earning a few hundred rupees a day supporting a family of 8 members which included his wife, two sons, and grandchildren. His youngest son Rupesh, a smart boy, having learnt photography all by himself was working in a local photo studio, but had an unsteady income. Nagendra anna mentioned that even though contractors would offer him a decent daily wage sometimes, he could not work for the whole month. “I could work around 10 to 20 days in a month even when I was healthy,” he said.
Life was pulling along when in June 2018, Nagendra anna started having bouts of cough, which would not go with the usual cough medicine, and there was this feeling of having a huge boulder on his chest all the time. “I could not breathe, eat or walk,” he said. They visited a local doctor who suggested to the family that it would be best if he had an x-ray taken of the chest for a better diagnosis. “After the x-ray, the doctor told me to visit a bigger hospital as he felt that there might be a problem with my heart,” Nagendra anna said.
“The doctor told us that something which should look like ‘S’ in the area of the heart had become like ‘U’. We did not fully understand what it meant at that time, but were sure that it was a complex problem, which would require immediate care,” Nagendra anna’s son Rupesh said. Nobody could ever be prepared when a tragedy strikes, and the same was the case with the Nagendra anna’s family.
“We had to do something we could not sit idle knowing my father had a heart problem. We went to almost all the hospitals in Vijaywada, but they all told us that it was too complex a surgery and that they did not have the required equipment. They told us that we better go to Hyderabad to some higher center,” Rupesh said. “But we first wished to go to Guntur, which was closer to us for a second opinion,” he added.
The opinion of the doctors in Guntur was no different. They performed an angiography for Nagendra anna and told the same thing to the family, “Go to Hyderabad”. Finally mustering enough courage and some meagre finances, the family started on their way to Hyderabad. “My father was not at all willing to go, but we all forced him to visit Hyderabad and boarded the train,” Rupesh said.
It was this train ride to Hyderabad, which was going to change the lives of Nagendra anna and his family forever.
“While travelling to Hyderabad, we had a person travelling in our compartment. He was a stranger to us. While conversing we told him about the plight of our father. He looked surprised and asked why we were going around everywhere rather than going to Bhagawan Baba’s hospital. We of course knew about Bhagawan Baba, but we had no idea that there was a hospital run by Baba, which was completely free of charge and which performed high-end surgeries.” Rupesh said. But first they visited a private hospital in Hyderabad, where they received a rude shock.
“They told us that they would perform the surgery, but the cost would be Rs.700,000,” Nagendra anna said. “I work as a mason, with a large family, from where would I get Rs. 700,000,” he asked. “Thereafter we did not think twice about coming to Puttaparthi,” Rupesh said.
At the SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, the doctors performed all the required tests told them that Nagendra anna had a complex heart problem and required a surgery. And the surgery would be performed completely free of charge. It was Bhagawan Baba’s hospital.
According to Senior Cardiac Surgeon, from the department of Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery (CTVS), SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, Dr. J. Nageswar Rao, the patient Nagendra had complained of feeling as if his chest was being compressed and he was not able to breathe or eat . “A CT scan was done and we found that ascending aorta and arch aneurysm with a large thrombus (mass) near the heart, which were compressing the wind pipe and the right airway to the lung,” Dr. Rao said. “We performed the surgery and the ascending aorta and arch aneurysm was replaced with neck vessel de-branching and also removed a 10 cm x 10 cm thrombus (mass). This was a high risk surgery,” Dr. Rao added.
Nagendra anna had perfect recovery.
According to Dr. Neelam Desai, the Head of Department of CTVS of SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram, in the hospital, be it any department in the hospital, the cost of the surgery is never a limiting factor. “It is the relief that the patient gets after the surgery that is given the priority. We want to give the best to the patients,” she said. “The team was confident to handle such cases because we all knew that Bhagawan Baba’s Grace is always there to support us. And this complex surgery is one of the many that the CTVS department has performed in the last 27 years,” Dr. Desai added.
Providing a glimpse into the how technology is being constantly updated in Swami’s hospital Dr. Desai said that CTVS department was now performing minimally invasive surgeries with only 3 to 4 inches incisions, which were earlier being performed using much larger incisions.
Talking to us in the Cardiac Surgery ward a beaming Nagendra anna and his wife Satyawati said, “We feel this is not a hospital, but a temple not just because it looks like one, but also because how patients are treated here,” Nagendra said. “Outside in all those so called top hospitals when a doctor touches a patient they charge a thousand rupees as fee and here Baba is providing such advanced treatment completely free of charge to everybody”.
“When we went to one hospital they said it would cost me Rs. 700,000. From where can I spend Rs. 700,000 and there are so many people like me in the society,” Nagendra said. To which his son Rupesh added, “I have already started telling my friends back home about Baba’s hospital so that they can further spread the word.”
Nagendra anna has but one wish, “Just once if I see Swami, I will tightly hold his feet and tell Him that it is only because of Him that I am alive today. Not just me, but there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who are alive only because of Bhagawan Baba.”