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Times of India
7, March 2010
By Pratibha Masand
Mumbai, India

He Battled the Bulge for an Eye Operation NEW BEGINNING: Narendra Bhatia lost four kilos and gave up chewing tobacco
For six decades, Santa Cruz resident Narendra Bhatia tucked into a high–calorie meal and chewed tobacco. At 62, he weighed 125 kg and had several ailments.

Diagnosed with cataract in his left eye two years ago, Bhatia was categorised as a “very high risk” patient for a corrective surgery. But two weeks ago, Bhatia got his health indices under control to undergo the surgery.

A month ago, he could not lie on his back for 30 minutes and got breathless after walking for 20 minutes or climbing a flight of stairs. He even suffered from chronic renal failure and cardiac problems. But a cataract in his left eye made him realise that he couldn’t be operated on unless his breathlessness caused by lying on his back could be taken care of. His nineday hospital stay also helped him kick the tobacco habit.

“The cataract started two years ago. I tried to get my eye operated a number of times. I even reached the operation theatre twice, but the doctors couldn’t operate as lying flat on my back (especially under local anaesthesia) would be dangerous. But the cataract started impairing my vision. That’s when I decided to act,” said Narendra.

He was admitted to Asha Parekh Hospital in Santa Cruz and monitored for nine days. During this period, he lost four kg and his breathlessness and blood pressure were brought under control. “In the hospital, I realised that the colour of my urine was similar to drainage water. I decided to stop chewing tobacco for good,” said Narendra.

However, the eye operation was still dangerous and Narendra was told in as many words. “We kept telling him to get operated in a hospital which had ICU facilities. But he was adamant on getting operated here and we performed a combined cataract and retina surgery,” said Dr Natrajan from the Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital.

Narendra is expected to gain full vision in a month.

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