Farmer’s wife treated for rare brain disease

August 9th, 2011 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The wintry morning of Dec 18, 2010, was just another day for Omwati Singh, a farmer’s wife in Haryana’s Ballabhgarh, when the 42-year-old woke up at 4 a.m. to complete household chores and accompany her husband to the farms. However, things went topsy-turvy when she collapsed and her family found her unconscious in the kitchen, soaked in sweat and vomit.

The mother of four children was diagnosed with a combination of heart and brain disorders, until she was finally brought to Apollo hospital in the capital where she was treated for a rare state called ‘Takotsubo syndrome’ - a condition in which the brain closely mimics symptoms of a heart attack.

“We rushed her to the nearest hospital in Faridabad, she was fretting and mumbling. We were told that she had suffered a heart attack and the problem was of both the heart and the brain,” said Umed Singh, Omwati’s husband, who sold a chunk of his land in Ballabhgarh to get his wife treated.

Omwati underwent several diagnostic tests, shuttled between hospitals in the national capital region (NCR) even as her husband and children stood by her side.

“The same day we came to Apollo Hospital where doctors told her to immediately go for a brain surgery as the problem of the heart was provoked because of brain hemorrhage. She was operated upon the same day, and is fine now,” Umed Singh said, as he sat beside Omwati. The surgery cost him around Rs.6 lakh.

“I was worried for my daughter who was undergoing treatment for kidney stone at that time. But all this happened to me suddenly,” Omwati said.

Doctors said the patient suffered from brain hemorrhage that produced changes in the heart and abnormal widening of the blood vessels in the brain.

“It was a case of subarachnoid hemorrhage causing bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover the brain. She showed symptoms such as headache, blood pressure, drowsiness, vomiting that cannot be easily attributed to a heart or brain disorder,” said Pranav Kumar, senior consultant neurosurgeon who conducted the six-hour-long surgery.

“Titanium clips were placed across the widened blood vessels in the brain. The clips will remain in her brain for lifetime and prevent rupture of vessels,” Pranav Kumar said.

He said that the cause of the disease could have been weakness since birth, head injury, or high cholesterol diet.

For Omwati’s family, this is her rebirth. “God has given a second life to my wife. That is all I can say,” Umed Singh said.

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