Towards the end of his cross-examination at the Commission of Inquiry looking into former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s death , Dr. K.S. Sivakumar agreed with the lawyer testifying him and admitted that if a person had consumed the items that Jayalalithaa had mentioned in her diaries, the individual should have weighed only 50 kg.
However, at the top of one such meticulous entry — where she supposedly recorded the contents of every meal she took and the various diagnostic tests she ran on herself — it says that Jayalalithaa weighed 106.9 kg.
Dr. Sivakumar's testimony before the Justice (Retd.) A. Arumughaswamy Commission laid bare the trouble of having Jayalalithaa as a patient: even as she kept track of her meals, Jayalalithaa, the doctor told the Commission, continued to have an unhealthy eating regimen, which she never recorded in her notepads.
The doctor, also a relative of Sasikala who coordinated Jayalalithaa's treatment, mentioned that Jayalalithaa had an affinity for grapes, cakes brought from five-star hotels and sweets. “Even while at the hospital, she used to have these. She also used to consume a drink named Revive often,” he said. Later, the doctor said that Jayalalithaa liked chocolates and ice cream, “and even had them at night.”
Dr. Sivakumar, a plastic surgeon, began treating Jayalalithaa in 1998; after 2015, he began meeting Jayalalithaa on alternate days. The Commission had to stop recording his testimony on January 8 this year after he broke down while describing how he treated Jayalalithaa.
Jayalalithaa even stationed one of her personal cooks, named Sekar, at the Apollo Hospitals to ensure she was served the food she liked. “Amma kept eating what she wanted, not what Apollo’s dietitian ordered. Her personal cook was in the hospital’s kitchen; she ate fruits and sweets, violating the hospital's policy. It will be correct to say that the intensity of her illness did not lessen because of what she ate. I told Amma about this,” said Dr. Sivakumar. Later, during cross-examination, Dr. Sivakumar modified his statement to say that Jayalalithaa's diet was based on the hospital’s decisions.
At one point, Dr. Sivakumar roped in the United Kingdom's Dr. Richard Beale, in an attempt to control Jayalalithaa. So, in his second meeting with Jayalalithaa, Dr. Beale told her that she may be the State’s boss, but in the hospital she had to obey him. Jayalalithaa replied by indicating, through hand gestures, that he was not the boss: she was.
After 2001, apart from fluctuating sugar levels and thyroid, Jayalalithaa had no other issues. However, close to 2015, she had to be treated for vertigo and began walking slowly. Her swearing-in ceremony after the 2016 elections was a brief affair due to her illness, said Dr. Sivakumar. Jayalalithaa also developed an allergy to ink; this led to her wearing long sleeves to cover the marks.