About two months after a 44-year-old woman with partial memory loss went missing on a train on the outskirts of Delhi,she has been reunited with her family after a brain tumour surgery at GB Pant hospital as her memory returned miraculously.
Sarvesh Kumar Sharma was bringing his wife Babby to Delhi from their hometown in Kannauj in the second week of January to get her treated for her mental illness that started about two years ago.
She would have frequent fits and her memory was very weak. She would forget her old friends from the neighbourhood,and sometimes she forgot what she was doing midway through tasks, said Sharma,sitting next to his smiling wife in the hospital ward.
After treatment in Kanpur failed to improve her condition,Sharma,who works in a Delhi factory,was bringing her to the capital. At the Shahadra railway station,he went to use the toilet and his wife was gone when he returned to the coach.
I looked for her frantically,calling out her name repeatedly running around the compartment. Some fellow passengers then told me she had followed me out. By this time the train had already started moving. So I got down at Old Delhi,the next station, he added.
He got several announcements made at the Old Delhi station but there was no response. Sharma then went back to Shahadra station and filed a missing persons complaint at the police post. The family has since published ads in several newspapers in Delhi and Kannauj,but there was no response.
Meanwhile,Babby was having her own tryst with adventure in Delhi. She reportedly got off the train at Shahadra and roamed around the station for a few hours. Satender Singh,a police inspector,found her and produced her before a Delhi court that issued orders for her treatment.
Some passer-by noticed her and called the police control room. It was my beat area so I rushed there. I found her walking aimlessly. She was completely incoherent and it was apparent that she was suffering from some kind of mental illness, Singh said.
She was produced in the Karkardooma court,which directed that she be admitted to IHBAS,where mentally ill destitutes are usually admitted. There,she repeatedly told doctors and police officers she was from Bihar when her village was in Kannauj. Police teams were sent to Bihar on the basis of her statement.
At IHBAS,an MRI found a large tumour in Babbys frontal lobe.
The tumour had generated a lot of pressure on her brain,forming a hydrocephalus,or a build-up of fluid in the brain. This was resulting in her symptoms which were so characteristic of some psychiatric problems,but nobody suspected a neurological involvement, said Dr Sanjiv Sinha,neurosurgery consultant at GB Pant hospital who operated on Babby.
Sinha said the family was too poor to afford an MRI in Kanpur and it was clear from her medical records that the possibility of a tumour had never been considered.
SI Satender Singh went with the findings of the MRI to court,which directed that Babby be shifted to GB Pant super-specialty hospital as recommended by IHBAS doctors. She was brought here on February 22 and her surgery was performed on February 26. The tumour was non-malignant so there is no threat of cancer. Once she regained consciousness after the surgery,she started improving, Sinha said.
SI Singh waited outside the operation theatre during the surgery and stayed in the hospital when Babby was in the ICU.
Babby regained consciousness on March 2,and within hours she remembered her husbands name and phone number and exact location. On March 3,Sharma rushed to the hospital and found his wife. This is a dream. I still do not believe I lost my wife in a city like Delhi and found her all hale and hearty,her treatment completed at one of the best hospitals here, he said,brushing away his tears.
For Babby,life seems perfect. This is my husband-sahab. My daughters are in Delhi and I have two grandsons. I love my doctors and the police inspector is my friend. God is great, she said,smiling from her hospital bed.