104-year-old Sagarbai Bakshi has survived two breast cancer surgeries, osteoporosis, anaemia, asthma, hypertension, weak lungs, and recently has come through a difficult bone surgery.
Early this month she slipped and fractured her leg. Her orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. H.R.Jhunjhunwala said that her right femoral bone had broken into four pieces. "We had to put in three screws and a plate just above her knee joint so that she could get her mobility back."
Her age and medical history did not allow the doctors to administer a proper anesthesia dose. They had to keep her conscious during the surgery, so a spinal anesthesia was given which makes the lower half of the body numb, and the surgery had to be completed within 45 minutes which is all they had as the anesthesia's effect lasts only that long. Her asthma and anaemia also had to be dealt with for the surgery to be successful.
Sagarbai had gone through two surgeries for breast cancer in the past ten years and when asked her age she seems to be proud of her long survival. Although there are no close relatives she has her old students to visit her.
Sushila Jain, her 73-year old niece who looks after her, understands her old aunt's desire for independence. "I don't like being bed-ridden. I just want to be able to walk on my own," she says.
Well, Sagarbai Bakshi has her doctors to thank, for helping her to do just that.