Friday, 15 July 2022

Update on Mum's Recovery - Friday 15.7.2022

Dear Friends,

It has been quite a while since we updated you on Mum / Oma / Christa Eicher’s road to recovery!

We were able to bring Mum to our home at Asha Kiran Hospital in Odisha on the 11th of March.  Since then we posted 2 or 3 times…. and then radio silence.

No news, in this case, is good news.  Mum’s story has been miraculous.  In the first days, we saw the dramatic improvement, where she was at the very door of death and then came out of a altered consciousness.  We then saw her process the fact that she was paralyzed from the stroke – and had to be helped in every way.  But by God’s grace we saw her regain the ability to sit, then to hold up her head, then to use her left arm and leg, and eventually we were thrilled to see her regain some gross power and mobility in her right arm and leg too.  

Within 3 weeks of her stroke/fall (or was it fall/stroke?) Mum was starting to walk.  Baby steps.  With a walker.  She began to be able to toilet and bathe too.  Then we moved her to a walking stick (a quadrapod that ‘stays standing’ when you let go), and she even started making a few steps on her own without the stick.   She was meeting folks in our home, and life was good.  She was intent on doing the physio therapy exercises she had been taught in Mussoorie, and working on getting her right hand to work.  First to get food into her mouth, and then to start relearning how to write.

All was good.  Sheba had started work again and was caring for Mum at night.  I was back to the part-time that I had been doing earlier – able to work most of the day from home.  Things were looking good.

Then Mum fell sick.  A ‘simple fever’ – and a cough.  It didn’t look like COVID-19 – and we know since Sheba has treated lots of COVID-19 cases.  The fever subsided after a few days.  But the cough persisted.  A deep, racking, fruity cough.  And Mum was just not her normal self.  Her energy was down, the strength that she had regained leached away.

One afternoon during this time, Mum got up from her nap and stood up and walked a few steps over to the cupboard for something.  Having done what she wanted she turned back.  At that time her legs gave way under her.  She fell.  She did not know how weak she had become – and was not using a stick to support her.  One of the grandchildren had stepped out for a walk – the other was taking a nap.  One of the adults from next door had just checked in to see her 10 minutes earlier and saw that all was well (at that time at least).  Mum lay on the floor.  She called out, but the sleeping grandchild did not hear her voice.  It was a shock to find Mum on the floor in a helpless state.  She had been there for about 10 mins and had bruised her ribs.  But when we did the Xray the next day (which we had planned since the cough was not settling) we found that there were no fractures – and no sign of any pneumonia for which we were very happy.

It took Mum a good 3 weeks to recover from her illness.  She has now turned a corner – illnesses that used to be shrugged off in 2-3 days will now last 1-3 weeks.  Recovery will be proportionally longer.   Its a new normal for Mum – and is of course not an easy cross to bear.

One of the joys of this period of time has been to have Asha and Enoch with us.  They arrived at the end of May – and have been a joy for the Oma – and for us parents too!  And before they arrived we had the unexpected joy of having our foster son Yohan with us for 2 weeks (2 day overlap with Asha and Enoch).  Oma has had a good dose of Grand-kids!

And so the days went by with visitors galore.  Old friends from OM days like Dave H and Mike S.  New friends from the Asha Kiran family like Sangeeta and Dipi, as well as auntie from right below us who only knows Malayalam and cheerfully chatters away, singing and praying for Mum.  Then folks from Mumbai – with the Sainanis bringing Yohan to be with us.  And various batches of medical students and junior medical officers.  Of course there were many times of prayer.  And evening coffee on the roof.  And lots of mangoes as the season progressed.  Lots! 

Looking back we see that Mum’s road to recovery has thus slowed down in some ways (the illness being a good sized speed bump) and her other recovery parameters all moving down a gear or two.  But overall she has been growing.  She has had physical improvement, greater ability to do activities of daily living, and is processing and praying through the various soul challenges.

After some weeks we built a guard rail for the steps going up the terrace – and Mum slowing starting walking up the steps.  Evening tea and songs was a blessing, surrounded by beautiful greenery.  And then a month ago she started for the first time attending our worship times.  She had till then not gone ‘down-stairs’ (other than for her X-ray) for over 2 months – but a glimmer of hope had arrived for her.   We began discussing about whether she wanted to go to Mussoorie (she did!) and how this may be worked out.  Going back to Shanti Kunj was a tonic for Mum and we saw her ramping up her visits to the terrace.

We are at a point where Mum is able to care for her self in some areas – but not in all.  She can bathe and toilet, but needs help at times with some of her dressing.  She has slipped at least once in the bathroom despite rails being made all around.  Her night meds make her very sleepy and she wakes up at least 2 times a night to go to the toilet, so she needs supervision. 

And so we tested the waters.  After praying, we touched base with our heart-brothers and their wives about whether different ones would be able to spend a few weeks in Shanti Kunj to be there for Mum.  Two families immediately said they would come.  Two others wanted to come – but the timings just did not work.

Thus we had the amazing experience of having Stefan arrive late night on July 3rd – and take Mum to Mussoorie early morning on the 6th

Mum was as per her habit already packing 2 weeks earlier, and on the big day everything worked smoothly.  Stefan flew with her from Vizag to Delhi and then on to Dehra Dun – after which they went up to Sisters Bazaar by taxi.   Mum had been taken up to the top of the hill by stretcher on March 10th – wondering if she would come back to Mussoorie alive – remembering how we had taken Dad up the same way.  Now 17 weeks later, she is happy at home in Shanti Kunj.

Rajesh and Usha are the lovely family that is looking after Mum on a daily basis for the rest of July – and next month we look forward to Manoj and Christina swinging by from Nepal to help out for the weeks of August.  And Vikram is of course there for at least 5 days of the week to help out too.

Sheba, Asha, Enoch and I have been able to do an amazing once-in-a lifetime-holiday to
Sikkim too – and are now heading back to Asha Kiran (this piece was largely written at Kolkotta airport).  We stayed with the amazing Dr. Cherring Tenzing. Stay posted - I hope to put some pictures of the amazing beauty we saw there!

We apologise for the loooong gap between communications.  Mum has so much appreciated the many prayers and practical helps she has received over these days.  She has cherished members of the Asha Kiran family who have popped in at various time to pray and encourage her.  We have been so blessed to have her with us.   We have of course discovered quickly how much the Lord needs to shape us – esp. in the areas of patience - but we are so grateful for this journey.

So the current plan is for Mum to be at Shanti Kunj till the end of August (unless her health erodes suddenly for some reason before).   We will make a call in mid-August about the next steps!

Please do keep up your prayers.  Mum reads email, but finds it hard to reply.  Whatsapp is her current favourite means of communication.  Feel free to call up during waking hours on +91 9557267515.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Monday 18.4.2022

Well friends, we have now been in Odisha with Mum for 5 weeks! Time has certainly flown by it is already 3 weeks since we last wr ote to all of you. So, deep breath… here is the news:
Yesterday we celebrated Resurrection Day! God has continued to be so good to us and the hope of Jesus gives us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
Of course the question on your minds will be: how is Mum doing? We are glad to report that Mum has seen some real progress in many ways. Her right arm, which at the beginning of this ordeal was completely inert, has greatly improved its functioning. She can lift it (though it is still weak) and has regained some use of her right hand too. Her current work for the right hand is to use it to eat her food with a spoon. This takes Mum a long time – but she is a determined lady.

She is also trying to ‘relearn’ how to write using her right hand. Currently she is working on lines and circles. It is a slooooow process.

Mum is able to get up from bed, to stand up and use a walker. She uses it to come to the dining table and to use the washroom. Mum is able to take a bath on her own while sitting on a chair. It takes her some time to clothe herself, but it is all a learning process. We supervise her going to the bathroom and bathing of course. She has a remote bell which summons us when she needs help.  

Mum’s days are full of distinct tasks. She gets up and uses the walker to get to the dining table for her breatkfast and her morning medicines. Then she spends time sitting and reading her Bible. She often sings songs from “Brunnenquelle Aller Freude” – her song-book from her youth group days in East Germany. She then does some ‘writing work’ – trying to train her right hand to work. She then goes back to her bed and does some exercises. While doing this she normally hears an audio Bible from her mobile – in German! She has come to the first chapters of Deutoronomy now.
She may then take a nap. And then some mid-morning tea and a snack. Then more exercises or she reads her Whatsapp messages. A few phone calls too. Then lunch and another nap after lunch. In the afternoon, we ask her to fold the clothes from the day’s wash – another kind of therapy, and today she did some walking exercises with Sandhya – the lady who helps out in our home these days. Another cup of tea in the late afternoon and sometimes a bit of a nap too and then we are into supper season.

And then we have visitors too! On most days there is at least 1 visitor per day to see Mum. We have quite a spectrum of people who come to meet Mum. Each person is blessing! They may be medical students who are at Asha Kiran for a mission exposure time, or staff families, or special visits by folks like Dave Hicks and Mike Stachura or John Gabriel from Mumbai, or our dear closest neighbours Victor and Sarah (Sheba’s sister for those who don’t know these amazing folks personally).

There are on-going challenges with toileting at night – and last week Mum had a fever which we think was a urinary tract infection, but all things considered she is making slow but steady progress. One of the challenges is the slowness of everything. Being a person who is fiercely independent, to be in a state of dependency, to have to be ‘watched’ when she walks on her walker, to get help when her mobile rings and she is not able to quickly slide it open – all of these things are hard.
And made harder when thinking back that just 2 months ago she was taking 1 hour walks outside on the steep Mussoorie hillside and presiding over her beautiful home, welcoming guests and ministering to different people.
Currently Mum still has not left the house since she got here 5 weeks ago. Mum is still not confident to sit in one of our small group church services. So there is a lot of adjusting that is going on. Sheba has started back to work and also cares for Mum in the nights – and I am currently doing part-time work so am able to basically be at home most of the day.
What will the next steps be? We don’t know at this point, but we do know this. Mum is with us now and will need care and support for the near future. Your prayers and blessings are so very appreciated by her. You can send whatsapp messages and recordings to her at +91 9557267515. You can also call that number on whatsapp or her for normal calls you can use +91 6371338132. She has also started using her email again and can be contacted at
And so our lives move onward. Each day has its own joys and sorrows. But we know that God has given us the opportunity to trust more on Him – and learn to love each other more.
One of Mum’s amazing prayer partners is sister Rani who has suffered with tremendous arthritic pain over the past years. Yesterday Rani attended our Resurrection Sunday Sunrise service and shared her story of how God has been ministering to her in the midst of her pain. Rani said that she is seeing the reality of Ps. 119.71 “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Rani lives 3 houses away, and till last month was house-bound for almost a year due to her condition. We can learn so much from each other!

Friday, 25 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Friday 25.3.2022 (9 months till Christmas)

Dear Friends,

The days are bleeding into each other now.  Which is good.  We don’t have that terrible hour-on-hour uncertainty about what will happen anymore.   Thank God.   Mum’s days are now days of building her up.

Mum has achieved some new milestones.  She is able to eat on her own using her left hand and a spoon.  Her right arm and hand are slooowly beginning to function again.  With a lot of effort, she can manoeuvre her right hand to get a grape into her mouth – but it is still a huge task for her.  She can sit up at the edge of her bed, and lie down from a seating position.  Sheba has been working on getting Mum to stand up using a walker – and by God’s grace Mum has now started walking a bit.  The journeys are very short – from her bed to the dining room table – but we are so glad for this big step (literally) that she is taking.

When our dear friends Tej and Vanaja had lunch with us on Wednesday – Mum was out at the table which is a joy.

And of course she loves Sheba’s wadas

Mum’s days are at this point full of…. well, full of simple things.

Eating.  Sleeping.  Listening to the Bible.  Meeting people.  More eating.  Toilet.  Physiotherapy exercises.  Phone calls.  More sleeping.  Coffee.  Medicines.  Meeting visitors.  Praying.  Talking.  Resting.   Repeat – and shuffle.

It is a very different life from what Mum has been living for the past 5 years – one where she was very independent and able to do everything on her own.  She currently has been in our home for the past 2 weeks – and has been in only 3 rooms (including the bathroom).

Today much of her life is dependent on others.  It is never easy for anyone to have such a large change take place – especially for someone who has lived life as fully as Mum has in her beloved Shanti Kunj in Mussoorie.   A person who is fiercely independent and loves going on her 1 hour walk along the Mussoorie mountainside every day. As you can imagine, life here it is not always “happy, happy.” 

The pictures that we have included show her in an upbeat mood – but there are other times too.  Yesterday Mum was quite tired.  We found out that she has a UTI and have started her on some meds.  She found her physio-exercises hard and left her very tired.  She slept a lot during the second part of yesterday and during today too.

But overall we have seen so much to be thankful for. In all of this God’s word keeps helping.  Mum has been listening over and over to the Gospel on John in Hindi.  Over the last few days she has started listening to the German audio bible too from her mobile. 

Mum repeatedly tells visitors how grateful she is to be here and for the care that she is getting.  And that she is glad to be alive.  She has told a number of people that she is also very ready to meet Jesus – and that she must still have work to do since she is still here.

And so we start each day anew.   Sheba and I are slooowly getting ready to get back to work again.  We still have some areas where we need help and appreciate your prayers in this. 

If you would like to call Mum you can do so at +91 6371338132 or by Whatsapp at +91 9557267515.  

Thanks to everyone who has continued to pray for Mum – and for all who have come here to visit.

-        Andi and Sheba (for Eichers everywhere)

Saturday, 19 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Saturday 19.3.2022

Dear Ones, 

For the last 4 days we have had a team from the Anugrah project of Herbertpur Christian Hospital visiting us (  It has been wonderful to see the 2 Physiotherapists and the senior Occupational Therapist at work – assessing the condition of 25 children who are living with disabilities (primarily Cerebral Palsy).   The team met with the children and their families on 2 days here at the Asha Kiran Hospital and each day also did village visits with our Caring Communities staff.  We also had a 1 day seminar for church leaders on God’s love for people with disabilities.

Sheba was able to participate in this special visit because we had our dear friends Hannah and Jamuna come for 2 days to look after Mum during the day.  What a blessing God’s people are!

One of the themes that came out of the whole experience with the Anugrah team was just how much God loves each one of us – regardless of the challenges we may be facing – or what society thinks.  We are precious because God’s signature is on us.  And how much love He has for us.   Jubin – the spritely leader of the visiting group – made a comment at one point:  we are all going to be disabled… because we will all age. 

How true.  Mum has repeatedly marvelled at how Sheba and I are now looking after her – when half a century ago, I was being lifted in Mum’s arms, and Sheba was being cared by Amma.  How the tables turn.  And what a privilege it is to care.

And so we come to the progress Mum is making.  

We are so glad so share a number of milestones achieved by your prayers.  Mum is now able to eat on her own, using her left hand and a spoon.  She drinks normally (we ditched the straw 2 days ago) and is able to sit up for extended periods of time.   In the last 2 days we have stopped dragging her around in a chair… she now ‘walks’ with support from us for short distances.   We have started having her sit at the dining room table for lunch with us. Amazing grace!

We are also glad to report that her right arm is gaining strength and a bit of control.  Just over a week ago, when Pritam our wonderful physio-therapist was doing his last set of exercises with Mum, he asked her to lift up her whole right arm using her shoulder joint.  She could not.  He lifted her it up for her and asked her to hold it in place.  It kept flopping down.   But now Mum can hold her right arm straight and move it right up and hold it.  It is amazing to see the difference.  Her right hand has gained some control as well.  

But there is still some way to go.  Please do continue to pray for fine greater strength in her right arm and for fine motor control in her right hand.

Mum has also been doing some processing of her emotions.  She has been teary at times for various reasons, and has brought up things from her childhood (in German) and put them into the Lord’s hands.  She is slowly piecing together her experience and is curious about the time that she does not remember.  How grateful we are for the luxury of being able to ‘remember’ those fraught times (which were bathed in your prayers!).

Mum also enjoys a stream of visitors here.  The darling mother of the family below – who speaks only Malayalam – has come twice and prayed and sung with Mum in the heavenly language.  A young boy came this afternoon – she had taught him a bit of German the last time she was here – and he was so happy to tell Mum all about his new baby brother.   Our Caring Community team members had a practical lesson on Physiotherapy this morning with Sheba showing them the exercises we help Mum do, and the flexing and helping of her body to achieve these goals.  And of course many prayers – with almost every visitor interceding for her.

Next steps?  Well.  We would like her to be strong enough to get up on her own – and be able to walk.   We hope that this week will see some steps (literally) along this line.  It will of course help with her toileting and other self-care needs.   But we don’t want to push things too fast.  This is a time of rest and recuperation and rehabilitation.  Your earnest prayers are continued to be cherished.   


- Andi and Sheba (for the far-flung Eichers)

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – The Ides of March - Tuesday 15.3.2022

Dear Friends,

The golden rays of a beautiful Odisha late afternoon are flowing into the room.  Mum is sitting up and chatting with Sheba’s sister Sarah (who lives next door to us!).  Anyone walking into the room will hardly imagine Mum’s condition 2 weeks ago.  We are living in a season of grace.  Each day is precious.  Each day is a reminder of how precious our lives are… and how fragile.

By God’s grace, Mum is living well. She is processing a lot and has been sharing about how grateful she is to be alive, and for the care she is getting.  Earlier today after her morning physiotherapy session with Sheba, she took a nap.  She went into a deep sleep.  When I woke her for lunch she told me that she had been a bit cold to start with, but had a lovely warm red blanket put on her, and that that warmth and coziness was like the Father’s love around her.  

Mum has also been talking about having new revelations about the suffering that Jesus went through.  As she has been thinking during these days, the thought of Christ on the cross has brought her to tears – of sorrow and of thanksgiving.  

The last 2 nights Mum has slept without waking up at all.  Last night Sheba said that Mum moved on her own, turning on her side when needed.  What a huge step forward from where she was before, unable to move, with us having to shift her every 2 hours as we did not want her to get bed-sores.

Perhaps even more than in Mussoorie, we have a steady stream of guests coming to see Mum.  She is able to recognise so many of them from her previous times here at Asha Kiran – and is happy to make new friends as well.  The prayers continue in person – and from far away.  This is a blessed season for us in so many ways.

Is Mum out of the woods yet?  Well, she is able to sit without us supporting her.  She is able to eat with her left hand.  Her right arm is regaining some mobility – though there is still a way to go….   We continue to be concerned for her heart condition.  She is mentally sharp and is able to converse with a variety of people (though she has a bit more of a German accent than before).  Most of all, she is bringing herself to the Lord, and drawing strength from Him.  We know that all of our days are numbered, and are blessed to spend these with Mum, helping her on a road to recovery.  

Next update coming in a few days… till then – here is a picture of Mum taken this afternoon!


Andi and Sheba (for the Eicher family in all corners of ye olde globe)

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Saturday 12.3.2022

So the big milestone has been achieved - Mum is safely here at our home in Asha Kiran Hospital after that long trip across the country (borne by so many, many of your prayers).  

Today was a day of setting up the room for Mum - and of Sheba helping Mum in so many, many ways.  There are just so many things that we take for granted in our lives - for which we need help.   Mum is now sleeping peacefully - while Sheba is taking her Saturday evening Geriatric Course lesson on zoom.

Overall a good day for Mum, and she is very grateful to be alive.  Mum said a number of times that she is very ready for the Lord to take her home, but that she knows that God has a plan for her.  She also said that she is amazed that she has lived to be this old, and we are of course so grateful that she is still with us!  As the first visitors have come to welcome her back to Asha Kiran, we have already seen her minister to others - even as she is being blessed too.

Mum still needs much prayer, as do we.  Will you pray for Mum to keep getting stronger and learn to do her activities of daily living.  In the meantime, please ask the Lord to bring a lady to help Mum at home in the coming days.  Finding the right person is always a big ask, but the Lord can do amazing things.

As we ease into this new life here - for the next few months at least we think - we will probably start staggering our reports on Mum’s condition a bit more.  You may not be getting a daily update about Mum, but please do continue your kind prayers for her.  We are just humbled by all the love Mum has received so far… and know that the road ahead will have plenty of times when these prayers will continue to be needed. 

Thanks for being with us so far.


Blessings from Andi and Sheba (on behalf of the extended Eicher family)

Friday, 11 March 2022

Update on Mum’s Recovery – Friday 11.3.2022

Hello Everyone!

It’s 8.30 PM at Lamtaput Odisha!  We arrived here 2 hours ago after a looooong journey from Mussoorie - very tired of course, but grateful for the miracle of making it out here!

Mum has already had a bath, her supper, her meds, and after a short prayer of thanksgiving she is asleep. 

We are grateful for all the many prayers said on our behalf during this long trip across our country! 

We started out in the cold darkness of a Mussoorie night, exactly 24 hours ago.  We carried Mum up to Sisters Bazaar in a stretcher and then had her sleep on the pushed back seats of an innova.  Mum found this part of the journey hard, as she is naturally claustrophobic and being strapped in the seat and having the lights of cars and lorries shining on her all night was disorienting.   

We got to Delhi airport at 3 AM and were really helped by Mr. Sudip, from Indigo who assisted Mum with the wheel-chair.  Checking in was fast and we were through security soon - and came down to the exit gates only to realise that there were a lot of people there and no open chairs - and we had 1.5 more hours before take-off.  

So Sudip took us up by lift to another area where there were less folks and more chairs.  We put a shawl on the floor for Mum and she took a nap before Sudip came by at 4.15 to help us board.  What an experience to have Mum brought all the way to her seat in the wheel-chair.  

Mum sat the whole 2.5 hour flight - which is such a miracle considering where she was 10 days ago.  It was not comfortable the whole time but she managed.  

On landing in Vishakapatnam we were met by Victor and Sarah and drove over to Amma and Appa’s home which is only 20 mins from the airport.  

We imagined how it would have been if Amma and Appa were still alive - how excited they would have been to have us and care for Mum - and what meals Amma would have been cooking to welcome us.

The home stay for half a day gave us a needed rest.  After a clean-up, a breakfast, and some hours of sleep, we had delicious Andhra Thali lunch and then started our drive towards the Eastern Ghats and Odisha.   

We left Vishakapatnam just before 2 PM and drove up the now familiar roads towards Lamtaput: through the Andhra villages on the coastal plain, and then up the beautiful steep hills to Araku (the Ooty of Andhra Pradesh) and then an hour into Odisha to our home on the Asha Kiran Hospital campus.  

Sarah and Sheba and Mum were in one car (driven by our friend Rabi) while I drove Victor in our vehicle (which Sheba and I had left in Vishakapatnam when we drove down post-haste on the 21st of Feb).

And so we have come full circle.   We are home. Back to Asha Kiran after 2.5 weeks.  We left in haste, not knowing what would happen.  We are back with the miracle of Mum alive, mentally alert, and responding to the physiotherapy needed for her to overcome the effects of her stroke.   

So many prayers have been answered - and as we learn a new normal as an immediate family of 3 for the next couple of months at least - we cherish your on-going intercession on Mum’s behalf (and for the extended Eicher family too!). 

A very thankful good-night to all!

Andi and Sheba Eicher (for the Eichers all around the planet / and in heavenly places)