S'pore businessman refuses to give up on wife in coma for 2 years

PHOTO: S'pore businessman refuses to give up on wife in coma for 2 years

SINGAPORE - It was a video featuring a husband declaring his love for his wife who has been in a coma for two years.

And it has struck a chord among many who have seen it online.

Mr Chandru Vishindas, 35, posted the 12-minute video on a website he created for Madam Pooja Baharani Ghansham, 35.

"I want you to know that when you wake up someday," he says in the video, while speaking directly to the camera, "when God decides to wake you up, I want you to know that I truly love you and forever I will be with you.

"And I miss you so much. I can't live my life without you."

He adds, in the video, that life without her is unbearable but he has to trudge on because of their two kids. He wants his wife to know that he has done his best for them.

He says: "Everywhere I go, whatever I do, I walk alone, but I walk with the shadow of your love and I walk knowing you are always beside me."

Mr Chandru, who has been married for about 10 years, recalled how his life suddenly changed that fateful day on June 20, 2012. It was supposed to be a day of joy, a celebration of the birth of his son.

But that quickly turned into a nightmare. Mr Chandru, a Singaporean who runs his family business, said he and his wife, affectionately known as Pinky, were at the National University Hospital at 8.30am for the induced birth.

About 14 hours later, Ryan was born. But Mr Chandru said his wife started to bleed profusely. He declined to specify what caused the bleeding.

"They sent her to the operating theatre to stitch her up but she was still bleeding," he said.

She was even given 16 pints of blood.

Meanwhile, Ryan, whom his wife has not even met, developed complications at the time of birth and had to be warded in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for 10 days.

Madam Pooja, too, was sent to the ICU.

Ryan, now two years old, has missed all his important developmental milestones like crawling, walking and talking. He is still undergoing tests to determine the problem.

Mr Chandru said: "When you expect joy and you get devastation, you can't comprehend or accept it."

It has been two years since that tragic day and he has not given up.

He said: "Love - it is priceless but also selfish. It gives you determination and you go all out at all costs."

Instead of putting Madam Pooja in a hospice, her family opted to keep her at home.

Mr Chandru said: "After all, she's the queen of the house and she's still around. "Otherwise, how to give her the best?"

Two nurses

He has hired two nurses to look after Madam Pooja full-time. They have to turn her every two hours to prevent bedsores.

Daily, through a tube in her nose, she takes about 15 types of medicine according to a schedule. She is also fed through the tube.

Every morning, after making sure the household is running properly, Mr Chandru would be at her bedside to pray with her.

Then, a kiss and hug before he leaves for work.

"Sometimes when I kiss her, she will give a faint smile," he said.

He has also engaged a full-time nanny, Madam Paramjit Kaur, 52, to look after his son.

In addition, he hired two maids and a driver to ferry family members to medical appointments and school, when he is away on business trips.

When he is overseas or at work, his mother-in-law, Madam Rani Sham Baharani, 60, supervises the household.

But seeing her daughter in a coma has been hard on Madam Sham.

The housewife says in the video: "As a mother, it is really painful and unbearable to see her in this condition and I cannot do anything for her."

The couple's other child, daughter Rheanna, 7, talks to her mother almost daily before and after school.

She said: "I tell her about the happy things."

Such as how she got full marks for her spelling assignment and came in second in a race.

Mr Chandru said: "We live in a broken family because she's not around, but we don't act like we are. We take things positively." Mr Chandru tries to be strong for his family.

But he confessed: "Outwardly, I look alright. But inside, I'm totally broken. I have no choice. Imagine if I break, the whole family tumbles down.

"If I break down, it will affect my daughter, which affects my son, and so on."

He pines for Madam Pooja's presence: "I miss holding her hands, embracing her, I miss her kisses and most of all, I miss her attention."

Mr Chandru recounted how he had proposed to Madam Pooja when they were both only 16. Nine years later, they were married. To cope with the hefty and growing medical bills, Mr Chandru focuses on necessities only.

Heavy expenses

His wife's medical expenses alone have surpassed $800,000. He spends more than $100,000 a year to upkeep the household. The family of five, along with the maids, nurses and nanny, live in a five-room HDB flat in Bedok.

So far, because of sound financial planning, including insurance coverage, he has managed to stay afloat.

But the future remains uncertain.

He said: "For my son, with his condition, who will take care of him? When he's 30, I'll be in my 60s and who will take care of me?"

For now, he said: "I take matters on a daily basis, solve, and move on."

He and his family are holding on to the hope for a miracle. He said: "We hope that one day, she will wake up."

The messages of support and encouragement from netizens who have seen his website, prayforpinky.com, and Facebook page "Pray For Pinky" motivates him.

"I hope people will love their family, spouses and loved ones while they still can," Mr Chandru said.

chaihyn@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on September 18, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.