Jaswant Singh has been in coma for well over a month now and the family waiting on him says they have not given up hope. The former defence minister and BJP stalwart was admitted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital on August 9 and remains on ventilator support.
Singh’s wife Sheetal has been present outside the ICU. She walks up to speak to every doctor who comes for a round. As other family members meet visitors, Sheetal speaks little and spends most of her time checking on her husband through the glass wall of the ICU. Sons Manvendra and Bhupendra take turns for day and night shifts. Doctors have used words such as “very critical”, “grave” and “serious” to describe Singh’s condition but family members say they still think he would be fine.
Manvendra’s wife Chitra Singh, who campaigned for Jaswant Singh in the recent parliamentary polls, told The Indian Express, “We will wait till he comes out of coma, however long that takes. He is stable and is responding to treatment.”
“We are told he might come out of it (the coma) anytime. It might happen tomorrow or may take months. We are hopeful he will rise from it,” said Manvendra.
Asked if they plan to move him abroad or seek the opinion of international medical experts, she said, “We are assured that he is in good hands here and have no plans to move him elsewhere.”
Over the past month, critical care specialists have visited Singh to assess his condition, which they say remains “unchanged”. They have done periodical CT scans on his brain and have ensured that his vital signs remain normal. “Jaswant Singh’s heart rhythm and blood pressure are normal. His metabolic parameters are also normal,” Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said.
Singh was admitted in a “highly critical condition”, when he fell unconscious, reportedly just minutes after having had a chat with his sons at their home. The hospital said initial examination showed Singh was already in coma, “with signs of ‘raised intracranial tension”, or high pressure inside his scalp, and a clot in his scalp, seen usually after head injuries.
A CT scan found a clotting between the brain and the dura. “This is one of the most serious of head injuries seen after trauma, caused due to tearing in the brain. This was accompanied by a bruising of the brain substance. That is why we had to go for immediate surgery,” a doctor said.
There was also a “midline shift” or a shift in the brain from its central line. Surgery was done in the early hours of August 9, barely an hour after he was rushed in.
Since then, doctors say their role has largely been restricted to “maintaining the patient’s vitals”.