Saturday, December 14, 2002    HINDUSTAN TIMES, Kolkata (Calcutta)
 

HEART PATIENT WAKES UP TO MYSTERY SURGERY

Amitava Banerjee, Darjeeling, December 13 

You may have heard about telepathic healing and psychic cure, but a heart patient who had undergone "Divine Surgery" is drawing huge crowds in Takdah.

Sarala Chhettri (25) was to leave for Puttaparthi on December 12 for heart surgery.  But Sarala's parents claim that they woke up to find their daughter already "operated" upon. Nobody was seen or heard entering the house in the night though.

The Chhettri home has been swarming with believers and sceptics since then. People from across Darjeeling
, Kurseong and Kalimpong flocked to witness the "miracle" and the blessed patient.

The Chhettris are disciples of Sai Baba and they believe the operation was a "Divine Intervention." Sarala was diagnosed having a heart ailment last year. She was being treated by a doctor from Vellore
, who visits Siliguri once a month. He asked Sarala to go to Vellore for surgery. But neither her father, Madan Kotwal, nor her husband, Hari Karki, could afford the treatment. So they sought Sai Baba's help.

"We decided to take her to Puttaparthi, as the surgery would be free at Sai Baba's hospital, with minimal cost to us," said Mt.
Kotwal
.

On the morning of December 12, when Sarala's father went to wake her up, she did not respond to repeated calls. So he pulled away the blanket to find her chest was bandaged and there was post operative surgical dressing, complete with gauze and leucoplast. Her wrists had marks like those made by IV drips for saline or blood.  There were about 36 stitches running down the middle of her chest to abdomen.

Sarala showed some signs of recovery from her "sleep" only the following night, (Thursday 12 December), when she could not speak, but gestured for some water. The following morning, Friday, the family found that Sarala's dressings had been changed overnight, and the old dressings left behind on the table next to her bed, while Sarala was still not fully conscious.

"An X-ray will reveal whether a surgery had been performed or not. A metal wire is used to tie the sternum together after cardiac surgery and that will be revealed in the X-ray," a doctor said.