This morning marked 100 hours since we first heard about Mum’s fall. I was in the middle of a wedding of two of our Asha Kiran Hospital staff in a far-off corner of Odisha when the calls started coming from Stefan and Vicky that something had happened to Mum, while Sheba was doing her OPD work at the Asha Kiran Hospital. Somehow I managed to get back to Asha Kiran and 3 hours later we were on the road to Vizag, Delhi and then Dehra Dun. How things have changed so rapidly. And continue to change. Its new territory for us all.
Each of us in the extended Eicher clan would like to say a big “thank you!” for the outpouring of love and prayers from across India and various corners of the globe. Wow. We really feel the blessings. And we know that Mum does too.
We experienced the thrill of two rays of light in Mum’s condition today.
Before we share the rays of light, we would like to remind us all that Mum is still very sick. Though her vital signs are steady, she is completely bed-ridden, mainly non-responsive, still on oxygen support, is basically paralyzed on her right side, and has an underlying heart problem which can shut everything down in a matter of minutes. We are so grateful for every day that is given to us, and are again aware of the amazing value of life. And the hope for second chances.
But here is Ray of light no. 1: Mum started recognising us today. It began with her lighting up when Stefan and Vickey came to the room this morning. She talked fairly clearly with them. She knew their names. Her eyes followed them for a short period of time. Over the course of the day, Mum enjoyed periods of lucidity. She was able to hold some short conversations. Not always fully understanding, but enough to bring a thrill in our hearts. She drifts in and out at this point, but we are so glad that she at least drifts in for some periods of time.
Ray of light no. 2: Though it looks like Mum is paralysed on her right side, with what looks like some kind of a stroke, we saw that she was able to at least move her arm a bit today. We asked Mum to squeeze her right hand, which she was unable to do. But in the process she pushed her whole right arm: and with some force too, given how weak and frail she is now. We still have to shift her whole body from one side to the other every 2 hours since we don’t want her to have bed-sores (those who know her well know that she hardly has a gram of fat on her body). And we know that even if she regains full lucidity, she will need much physiotherapy if she is to regain control of her right side – but the fact that she has some motor control on her right side is really encouraging.
Friends, we know that these steps forward are not by accident. They are gracious gifts from the Lord, and we believe that He has chosen to give them to us as a family in joyous accord with the many, many fervent requests by His children near and far. Thank you so much for your love.
Other highlights of the day include our dear brother Narendra Kumar arriving from Varanasi. Narendra made his way across the country when he heard about Mum’s poor prognosis, and his journey included him taking the seat of the taxi driver who wasn’t feeling well. Our dear Narendra ended up driving a taxi a good portion of the Delhi to Dehradun stretch yesterday!
Mum’s dear neighbours Chitranjan and Susan Dutt visited her this afternoon while Sheba and I were getting a bath and some rest at Shanti Kunj. When they came in Mum had a turn of being more lucid and when she saw Chitranjan and greeted him with a bright ‘hi Chitranjan!’ What a difference from yesterday!
And so we come to the end of a week. At 11.23 PM as I write this while on the “night shift” I can just say that it is so good that Mum has been sleeping deeply for over an hour (so far!) after three nights of various kinds of restlessness.
What lies ahead? We don’t know the future. But we know He who holds the future in His hand. And we know He is good and kind.
Do pray for us as we start exploring what the next steps should be. Pray that Mum will come out of her altered conscious state and be lucid and able to relate to us with the same joy that so many of you know. Ask the Lord Jesus to strengthen her so that she can make the long trip over to Odisha with us, as currently it looks most likely that we will be caring for Mum at our home at Asha Kiran Hospital – with the help of the healing community that we have there.
As the old hymn says:
“How good is the God we adore,
our faithful unchangeable friend,
whose love is as great as His power,
and knows neither measure nor end.
‘Tis Jesus the First and the Last,
whose Spirit will guide us safe home,
we will praise Him for all that is past,
and trust Him for all that’s to come.”
- Andi and Sheba Eicher [Thanking you on behalf of Eichers everywhere!]