This is a picture of Neha and Aditya taken almost three years back in happier times. Since a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. In those times questions were simple and solutions easy. Even mummy learnt to smile as she picked up the pieces of her broken life and wove them bravely into a new one.
Barely a few back just was working and had gladly accepted that Aditya become part of our foster care programme as she knew that this would give him a better future. Everything seemed almost picture perfect as we sat content in what we thought was a befitting conclusion of a journey started many months ago. We had conveniently forgotten about the big picture being busy putting final touches one the tiny one we could see.
Neha had been complaining of back aches, one that even compelled to take a break from the gruelling hours she put in at the beauty parlour where we worked. We advised her to se a doctor and take some rest. Nothing could have prepared us for what was to ensue.
One morning Neha came by asking for help as she had been asked to have an MRI and did not have the money to so. In spite of her smile, we could see the pain and knew that something was wrong. When the results came we were shocked. Neha had advanced tuberculosis of the spine and many of her vertebrae had collapsed. The diagnosis was confirmed by a bone specialist. it was a miracle that Neha was still walking. She needed immediate immobilisation and even then the prognosis was terrible: risk of paralysis, permanent damage to the back and poor chances of recovery, septicemia from the risk of any of her abscesses bursting .
She was advised complete bed rest for at least 3 months as any movement could entail paraplegia. Neha has no one; even her mother has walked away from her life. Her only family is 5 year old Aditya. She needs to get back on her feet; anything short of that is a death knell.
As I write these words she lies in terrible pain in a room at our foster care. In a few days she will be moved to a room on the ground floor of the dame building. A day time nurse will look after her and at night a distant relative will take care of her. Neha weighs a paltry 32 kilos. The ordeal that awaits her is terrible and she knows it.
I have often prayed for miracles but am at a loss as I do not know what to pray for. Even the best case scenario is short of what Neha needs. A deformed back or life in a wheel chair is no life at all for this young single mom. What we need is a real miracle, the kind that is not fabricated by us humans but one that only He can make true.
A miracle for a little boy who plays and learns unaware of the reality that may become his!
So help me God!