Last week should have been festive, as everybody was celebrating Diwali the festival of lights. But for us here, it has been a different story as our youngest lama, Sonam, gave us good reasons to worry.
It first started out of the blue, with him vomiting, and then the next day, early morning, he started to have strong convulsion crisis, diarrhea and very high fever. Luckily Tulku Ugen and Shashi were there when it started, so that he could be taken immediately to a child specialist. Once at the doctor’s chamber he was in a semi-conscious state.
Sonam got diagnosed with meningitis and admitted at the hospital in emergency. Once at the hospital, entering the pediatric department we could see one child who had just passed away lying on the floor of the corridor. Looking at Sonam, the doctors warned us that they had admitted 8 children from the hills and the plain, with the same symptoms in the past 48 hours and already 4 had passed away. Imagine our despair.
Shashi ran to get the medicine prescribed, while Tulku Ugen called his acquaintances working in this hospital to put things in motion as fast as possible. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche could be contacted and immediately advised to recite 1000 Tara prayers, which our lama who stayed at the monastery started to recite straight away. We were racing against time as the brain could be touch and damaged by the virus. Everybody played his part.
The first results came in the afternoon, meanwhile Sonam was receiving treatment. His parents arrived from Sikkim and spent the night with him at the hospital while we all went back, emotionally exhausted and worrying deeply.
But the next morning, the good news came that he was speaking and sitting on his bed. It was such a sense of relief to hear his voice and see a smile on his face. He is now supposedly safe but the doctors wish to keep him in observation for another 10 days to make sure there would not be any relapse. So we take turn to go visit him, bring him food and look after him.
Thanks to Tulku Ugen contacts and the Chhimed Rigdzin Society financial support, the child could be saved, while other children less fortunate, died over the same period of time. It also helped the doctors confirm their diagnosis and their prescriptions, allowing them to treat the next patients directly with no waste of time. It saved lives as no other children died since then, even though many more got admitted with the same symptoms.
Tulku Ugen Chencho comes out of this stressful time even more tired and in worst health condition than before. His mind would like to rejoice and celebrate but his body is exhausted. He is boarding a train tonight together with his wife Shashi to seek admission at the kidney hospital in Kolkata. This opens a new chapter and another door of uncertainty at the gompa.
Be with us…