Karnataka: Parents in debt, tree-fall victim in a coma for 1 year | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: “She has no idea of how the world has changed ever since she slipped into a coma. It’s been a year now. We’re praying to god that she wake up or respond.” These were the words of Raju Y, father of eight-year-old Rachel Prisha, who fell unconscious a year ago after a branch of a tree fell on her.

Rachel was heading to her school on March 11 last year with Raju on scooter when a dry branch fell on her head on TC Palya Main Road. Rachel was severely hurt and she slipped into a coma. She remains in that state till date. The same day, a BWSSB employee, Srinivas, who had gone to meet AEE near Halasuru died after a huge branch from a tree fell on his car.
“She would have celebrated her eighth birthday on March 7 with fanfare if not for the turn of events. It has literally shattered our lives. She does not know that Covid-19 virus brought the country to halt. She neither recognises anything nor responds,” Raju said.
Rachel is being treated at Manipal Hospitals, Old Airport Road. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is providing financial assistance for the treatment.
The girl was treated in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for nearly a year and was recently shifted to ward.
Dr Dheeraj Adiga, consultant neuro-rehabilitation physician, Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, said Rachel suffered severe injury.
“She had to be incubated; she suffered traumatic brain and spine injury, brain hemorrhage and was managed in the pediatric intensive care. After a long stay in the PICU and multiple surgical interventions, she was stabilised. She was then put on comprehensive neuro-rehabilitation programme, but the recovery reached a plateau and a trial with hyperbaric oxygen therapy was initiated. After three weeks of initiation of this therapy, she has showed improvement and displays emotional behaviour like smiling and sobbing when spoken to,” he said, adding that the road to recovery has been slow despite the best of care and intensive neuro rehabilitation.
“My wife Pavithra and I have spent all our days since the incident at the hospital. Initially, we spent the nights in the lobbies, but on BBMP’s request, the hospital allowed us to stay in a ward,” said Raju. The girl needs to be monitored every minute as she gets epileptic seizures frequently and doctors need to be alerted. Raju has incurred Rs 12 lakh debt after the incident. “I had just set up a mobile shop and it was doing well. After this incident as we had to stay here, I closed it. Paying rent for house and shop and other expenses has pushed us to take loan of Rs 12 lakh,” he said.
Dr Shivakumar Shamrao, consultant, pediatric intensive care unit , Manipal Hospitals, said Rachel’s recovery might take some more years or may not happen. “But there have been some positive signs as well,” he added.


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Sagar Biswas

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