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Updated: August 2, 2010 01:16 IST

Music brought her back from the brink

Dennis Marcus Mathew
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Radhika, who is recovering from a coma, with her mother Manju at the Alappuzha Medical College. Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu Radhika, who is recovering from a coma, with her mother Manju at the Alappuzha Medical College. Photo: Special Arrangement

Music is said to awaken slumbering memories. No one knows this better than Radhika, a little girl who used the strings of song to pull herself out of a coma

Music has much more in it than rhythm and a tune. Ask six-year-old Radhika, who is connecting the missing notes of her life with music, using it to wake from a coma after two months.

Radhika, the daughter of Raju, a fisherman and Manju, a housewife from Ambalapuzha, was admitted in an unconscious condition to the intensive care unit of the T.D. Medical College Hospital, Vandanam on May 30 after suffering severe brain injury. The injury was induced when she accidentally tightened around her neck the shawl she was playing with.

Girija Mohan, head of the MCH paediatric department, says Radhika had lost sensation and memory, had respiratory problems and was in a critical condition, necessitating ventilator support.

“We had absolutely no hope of her recovery. Medicines and intra-venous fluids kept her alive, but she was in a coma, not responding to touch or sound. She also had seizures in between. Since we had tried every treatment mode available, I began searching the Internet, which was when I came upon music therapy for such cases,” Dr. Mohan told The Hindu.

Coupled with inputs from Raju and Manju that Radhika had enjoyed songs, particularly devotional songs of Lord Krishna, Dr. Mohan got busy on all the search engines she had heard of. Low and soft tone music, instrumental music and Carnatic music, and a strict no to loud music and rap, was the feedback online.

Listening to music over earphones, Radhika began responding slowly, step by step - first by opening her eyes, then responding to the music, smiling in between and then responding to her name. Dr. Mohan added environmental simulation to the neuro-rehabilitation therapy with her parents taking Radhika out of the ICU on the hospital verandah, constantly talking to her and showing her around.

Physiotherapy was a daily routine. After Radhika took her first steps on Saturday after two months, Dr. Mohan is happy, but not satisfied. “I will discharge her only when she is able to walk entirely on her own,” she said. Music has helped Radhika take her first steps all over again.

Power of devotional songs on Lord Krishna

from:  Krishnakumar
Posted on: Sep 12, 2010 at 07:05 IST

Get well soon dear.

God bless you and the doctor

from:  prasanth
Posted on: Sep 6, 2010 at 17:27 IST

I'm not surprised that music can cure. You hear ragaas like Desh. It is such a soothing effect on your mind and soul.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Aug 3, 2010 at 05:20 IST

It is a wonderful NEWS, hats off to Dr. Mohan and wishing more such laurels to her credit. Congratulations to the child and wish her a bright future. I call Google the "Brahma" which has all the answers, rightful assimilation is our JOB.

from:  Dwarkanath
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 17:47 IST

This is the real power of carnatic music...it can create wonders..

from:  Kiron
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 15:43 IST

Dr.Balamuralikrishna who is interested in this ,
music therapi should be more interested in the case of Radhica. Congrats to those who are in this field.
s.srinivasan

from:  S. Srinivasan
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 15:41 IST

IT IS GOD'S WISH. GLAD TO KNOW THIS CHILD'S LUCK. WISH YOU ALL THE BEST RADHIKA

from:  srinivasankrishnaveni
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 12:12 IST

Miracle

from:  Vikrant
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 11:34 IST

Dear Radhika,

The lord will bless you all through the days of your life and he shall crown you with his goodness and blessings. May you get a prosperous life ahead.Congrats to Mr.Mohan for his sincere effort to recovery from this serious coma stage. Thanks.

from:  Vijayakumar Kasi
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 10:41 IST

Its just amazing to know that music has so much power. I just pray that Radhika gets back to normal life with this therapy.

from:  Debarati
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 10:31 IST

Nice article. Dr. Mohan's effort and care to help little Radhika is very inspiring. Thank you.

from:  Raman M.
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 10:05 IST

COngratulations to the medical team for having done this fabulous job. Prayers and best wishes for the kid.

from:  Mukund
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 08:01 IST

very interesting.

from:  vaidyanathan
Posted on: Aug 2, 2010 at 04:56 IST
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