Anne Fernandes had no idea why she was lying in a hospital bed, presuming, when she regained consciousness, that someone had tried to mug her. It was her brother Anthony D’Souza who told her what had happened.
Returning home on Monday evening, Fernandes was speaking on her mobile phone when a branch of a drumstick tree fell on her, pinning her to the ground. A local resident who did not wish to be named, said, “I honked loudly to get her attention as my car was behind her. A moment later, I saw that she had been completely trapped under the branch.”
Fernandes injuries mean she is now on ventilator with her spine crushed, her ribs fractured and her thorax split into two. Making it worse is the fact that the injured ribs have affected her lungs. “The doctors didn’t realise there were injuries to her ribs, as it was covered with blood. It was during the surgery, after cleaning up the blood that they noticed that two of her ribs had been fractured. She’s in terrible agony”, Anthony said.
The tree branch falling on her is just part of the reason for her agony. Fernandes, a 36-year-old employee in the human resources department with an engineering firm based in Malad, lost her husband in June this year. Their two-year-old daughter, Joanne is too young to understand what’s happening.
“Joanne keeps saying that her mother’s in the hospital, while the doctors are giving her injections. That’s all that she thinks is wrong with her mother”, Anthony said.
Anthony, 41, rues the ‘bad luck’ that has been dogging the family, and Fernandes, in particular. What else, he asks, would explain her husband’s death, followed by a bout of illness, which got both Fernandes and her daughter Joanne down, followed by his own hospitalisation. “Even the doctors said that any other person in my sister’s place would not have been able to take it,” Anthony added. Anthony said that his otherwise bubbly and cheerful sister had been bogged down by health problems.
“For three consecutive years now, she has been admitted to hospital every year. First, it was an ear surgery, where she risked losing her hearing, while last year, she had to be operated for a kidney stone. Now, this.”
The family has already spent Rs 3.1 lakh on her treatment alone. Anthony, who holds an administrative post with a local church said, “The only expectation we have from everyone I meet, is to please pray for her.”
Fernades has been operated upon, to set her spine right. The doctors have termed the 8-hour long surgery as successful, albeit with riders. “There are two concerns now, according to the doctors. One is that her breathing might be affected, because of the damage to lungs. The second is that she could have partial paralysis, which could even be permanent.”