On April 16th, 2017, I received a phone call from my sister saying that dad(his name is Suresh) was being taken to the hospital in my hometown, Paratwada, because he was having severe pain in the back of his head. Looking at the MRI, the physician told my family that dad has a swelling in his brain and suggested that we take him to a multispeciality hospital immediately.
Right away, my mom and uncle along with a couple of friends took dad to Wockhardt superspeciality hospital in Nagpur. The nuerosergeon at Wockhardt told my family that dad needs to be operated immediately as his blood pressure was dropping and he was going into coma. After about 4 hours, the doctor came out of the operation theatre confirming that dad had suffered from a cerebral aneurysm that had ruptured adding a whole lot of complications to the surgery. Cerebral aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. The surgery was successful. Now we had to wait for him to recover.
This is him next to my beautiful mother at my sister's wedding just a couple of months before the incident. Anyone who knows him will agree with me when I say he is a really caring, loving and a very helping person. Before this incident, dad was super healthy and never had had any serious illness.
When I saw him after the surgery, his face and limbs were so swollen that he was almost unrecognizable. He was in a coma for next 12 days and prognosis by the surgeon was quite grim.
Miraculously though, dad started recuperating fast and he was fully conscious 30-35 days after the surgery. This is him at one of his chair sitting sessions where I was gesturing at him to smile for the camera.
He was moved to general ward on day 42 and then got discharged on the 50th day. FINALLY!!
Then started his home care with daily physiotherapy sessions and chair sittings. My mom took a 3 month time-off from her teaching job. She attended to dad so well, it was like having a full time nurse at home. Her only job was to look after him 24x7. In a few day, I returned to the US. In about a month, dad was getting up and walking a few steps with some assistance. Here's my parents posing for a photo alongside my aunt who came to see my father. He is sitting on a sofa wearing his favorite shirt and smiling. Can you believe it? That was 8th of August. We all thanked god a million times for dad's progress and for showing us happier times again. Alas, that was short-lived.
On Aug 9th, he caught high fever of 103F. Mom immediately took him to our family doctor. Even after treating dad for viral fever for 3 days, his fever stayed. So the doctor suggested we take him to Nagpur. Again !!
So we did. I flew back to Nagpur.
The neurosurgeon at Wockhardt hospital Nagpur inspected dad and after a few tests, he told us the dreadful news that he has brain infection. More specifically, it was the deadly baterial meningitis. It is an infection caused in the meninges of the brain and it can be life threatening if not treated urgently. Not just that but it had spread into his lungs. Other complications included hydrocephalus, muscle loss, compromised immunity just to name a few.
I cannot articulate my family's feelings since then but those are a mix of fear, anxiety, helplessness and sorrow.
Everyday since August 16th, dad is being given higher antibiotics, intrathecal and IV injections multiple times a day. Each day, we hope to hear some good news only to get disappointed. It was only after a month since he was hospitalized the second time and after having fed a zillion medicines that his infection levels dropped significantly. Even though it was a small victory, we almost jumped with joy.
Currently, the same treatment is being continued until the next test to assess the infection level. When the infection is completely gone, there might be a minor brain surgery to prevent hydrocephalus.
Until now, dad's medical expenses have crossed $36,000(Rs 25 lacs) and his insurance covers only $4,600(Rs 3 lacs). That means everything else must be paid out of pocket. So far we have managed to pay the bills but we are now struggling at keeping up with the ICU costs. We have reached a point where we can no longer do this ourselves. Hence, I am reaching out to you guys.
I know it's a long to road to recovery and we are going to fight until we win this battle. We just need your support and well wishes.
I, on behalf of my entire family, sincerely thank you all in advance for your contribution.
PS: I have attached a few of dad's medical reports at below URL if any doctors would like to take a look.
Suresh Ughade's medical reports
- Rosario L
- Ashwini Lawankar
- Nisreen O'neill
- Manisha C