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  Volume 4 - Issue 01


Only By Bhagawan's Grace

We present to readers an amazing story of Sai Shakti, an eleven year old boy from Orissa. He had been progressively unable to open his mouth to eat or speak since the age of three. By Bhagavan’s grace he had a successful operation at the Super Speciality Hospital in Puttaparthy on 8th September 2005. His faith in Bhagavan brought about the cure, which could not be accomplished even in a teaching hospital in Delhi.

All through the years the poor boy managed to push in with his finger mashed-up food through the sides of his mouth, between the teeth and the cheek, until the food went past the small gap behind the last tooth. Although he attended school like any other child of his age he was handicapped by his inability to speak. He was affected by ankylosis (fusion of joint due to bone formation) of the Temporo-Mandibular joint (T-M joint), the hinge where the two jaw bones meet.

Initially the family sought help from a teaching hospital in Orissa. After three months of hospitalisation and procrastination, the doctors agreed to perform the operation that was needed to have his mouth opened. They wanted the family agree to an elective tracheotomy (making a surgical opening in the throat for placement of a breathing tube into the trachea or windpipe) for a safe anaesthetic, but the family refused consent and took the boy home.

The boy’s father, who happened to be working in Delhi, brought Sai Shakti to see some specialists at an established teaching hospital. They too maintained that the boy should have a tracheotomy for a safe anaesthetic, which was an accepted practice for a case like this. Once again the family backed off allowing the boy’s misery to continue.

Sai Shakti along with his family and relatives attend Sai bhajans locally. Some devotees at the bhajan, who had served as sevadals at the Super Speciality hospital, suggested that they could try Swami’s hospital in Puttaparthi, knowing that the hospital provides facilities for Plastic surgery, in addition to Cardiac, Urology and Ophthalmology. With faith in Swami, Sai Shakti came to Puttaparthy immediately with his uncle and consulted the plastic surgeon. They were told that the operation was not a problem, but the anaesthetist must be willing to administer the anaesthetic without the tracheotomy. With some reassurance the boy was referred to the anaesthetist for an assessment.

The senior anaesthetist reassured the patient and family that no tracheotomy would be done. Preliminary investigations including X-rays and CT scans were done, which gave a good image of the deflections and diameter of the air passages from the nostrils to the trachea. While the anaesthetist was happy to proceed with the anaesthetic without the tracheotomy, the patient was alerted to the fact that, in the unlikely event of a failed nasal intubation, the operation would have to be abandoned.


The Super Speciality hospital is well equipped, even with fibro-optic intubating bronchoscope that is quite costly and not generally available in most government hospitals, and teaching hospitals in India , let alone charity hospitals. Bhagavan has spared nothing to make such facilities available for the poor, not to mention even the expertise of talented doctors.

The operative procedure is a kind of surgical remodelling of the T-M joint with a prosthesis (arthroplasty) to get his jaws opened. The plastic surgeon in Swami’s hospital is very experienced and had done this procedure several times in his long career. The anaesthetist too has wide experience and is familiar with procedures such as this. All staff involved in this case looked forward to a successful outcome, with Swami’s grace.

Prior to admission the boy had spent a week in Puttaparthy and attended darshan of Bhagavan in Sai Kulwant Hall. He had seen Bhagavan going in the midst of devotees in His special silver-metallic car. Sai Shakti was confident that Swami would help him. He got admitted to the ward and the night before the operation he had a dream. In his own words Sai Shakti described to the operating theatre staff his overnight dream:

“Swami entered the Kulwant hall in His car from the ladies side. When the car reached the middle of Kulwant hall it suddenly turned left and headed towards the Gopuram. I got up and ran towards Swami and He lowered the window. I stretched my hand out to Him and Swami gave me a laddu and said, “Teesko” (take). I hesitated, remembering my inability to open my mouth, but I was surprised that I could immediately open my mouth and eat the laddu that Swami had given.

This dream experience has given me confidence that my operation would be successful, so I am not frightened.”

The boy was very happy and cooperative in the operating theatre. The anaesthetist had no difficulty in passing the breathing tube (endotracheal tube) with the help of the flexible paediatric fibro-optic bronchoscope guiding him. Normally a blind nasal intubation without seeing the larynx is very difficult, although very occasionally it is still possible. On this occasion it was Bhagavan’s mercy that made everything synchronize to make it a success.

The entire operation that lasted an hour and a half went off smoothly. At the end of the operation the mouth was kept open with a rubber wedge. The boy recovered from anaesthesia smoothly. As he woke up the first thing he saw was Swami's picture on the wall and he said “Sai Ram! Sai Ram!!” Those were his first words. He felt no pain and needed no pain-killer. He was able to speak to the doctors and nurses in the recovery area of the operating suite. He could hardly hold back what he had experienced under anaesthesia. We narrate the same, once again, in Sai Shakti’s own words:



“I saw a ball of fire burst through the wall and Swami emerged from it. He reached out to me and lovingly stroked my cheek and jaw on the side of the operation. Then He blessed me with His abhayahasta and merged into the ball of fire, which disappeared into the wall. That was sufficient for me to know that the operation would cure me.”

The remaining few days in hospital went uneventful. He started eating normally and kept narrating his wonderful experiences of Swami’s grace and the cure of his misery. He left the hospital full of gratitude to Bhagavan and praise for the kindness of doctors and nurses who showed such love and encouragement. Sai Shakthi, just as his name suggests, truly, was energised by Sai's power and love.

- Heart2Heart Team


You can write to us at : h2h@radiosai.org          
Vol 4 Issue 01 - January 2006
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