Whenever 6-year-old Prachiti Sawant meets her father, Parag, at Hinduja Hospital, she insists that he come home and take her to school every day.
But Parag has been confined to a hospital bed since July 11, 2006: he sustained multiple head injuries in the train blast at Mira Road, after which he fell into a coma. Prachiti was born a few months after the blast.
Parag showed signs of improvement last year, recognising relatives, expressing himself by smiling or crying, and regaining control over his bowel movements and bladder.
But a few months later, he suffered convulsions and has been in and out of the Intensive Care Unit ever since.
“He even talked to us last year, at this time,” recalled Parag’s mother, Madhuri, who travels almost every day from Bhayander to Mahim to take care of Parag.
Parag’s wife works as a clerk with the Indian Railways at Mumbai Central and meets Parag every Sunday. On Wednesday, Parag’s father, Jayprakash, had also come to Hinduja Hospital to meet his son.
“We feel emotional on this day,” said Madhuri.
“He suffers from fits and convulsions. It is a known problem in such severe injuries,” said Dr Gustad Daver, medical director, Hinduja Hospital.
But doctors said that the improvement in Parag’s condition was better than expected. “He is undergoing physiotherapy. He could even engage in some vocational work later on,” said Dr Basant Misra, head of neurosurgery, Hinduja Hospital.
Dr Daver said that Parag had still not been discharged as his convulsions required hospitalisation.
“We are charging the railway the most basic rate for Parag,” said Dr Daver. The railways have been billed Rs83.5 lakh so far for Parag’s treatment. “Doctors have told us to wait and watch. But I feel God will make him better,” said Madhuri.