In late March, 8-year-old Haziqa Faisan Ansari, who was returning home from her tuitions, was barely a few steps from her house when a frying pan or tawa came crashing down on her from a 22-storey Danish Villa building on Ghelabai street, Madanpura, cracking her head and landing her in the trauma ward. On most days, the Std II student would walk home with her mother, but on that fateful day, she was on her own. The impact was so severe that it cracked her head, leading to severe brain injury. Her father rushed her to Nair Hospital, where she was placed on ventilator support. From the extent of her injuries, doctors estimated that the pan may have fallen from a height of at least 100 feet (about 10 storeys). A resident of the building revealed that this is not an isolated incident, and objects are frequently thrown from the building, causing damage to property as well. The Nagpada police registered an FIR against unidentified persons under Section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety) of the IPC.
Haziqa Ansari's devastated father, Faizan, was furious with whoever dropped the pan, stating he won't rest until the culprit is arrested. When Haziqa was injured, 25 shopkeepers downed their shutters in the area to accompany her father to hospital.
The accident had the residents and police baffled. All the windows of the flats in Danish Villa are covered with grilles, so cooking utensils can't just fall off from there. The police, after an initial inquiry, said the pan may have fallen when someone tried to throw away food from the frying pan and it slipped out from the person's hand.
Haziqa Ansari remained in a coma two weeks since the incident. Doctors at Nair Hospital, felt it was crucial to remove a broken part of the skull that had entered her brain and that surgery should happen soon to minimise the infection. Ansari's neurosurgeon, Dr Keki Turel, was contacted by a concerned woman from America, who has offered to help in her recovery. The girl's family members were also approached for aid from all parts of the country.
In mid April, Haziqa Ansari underwent brain surgery at Bombay Hospital in Marine Lines. Doctors were positive that her condition will improve. Neurosurgeon Dr Keki Turel said that the surgery was crucial to prevent any brain defect and it was chiefly to correct structural injuries, which were visible during the scan.
The doctor further added that the team will be able to determine the extent of the damage only after Haziqa regains consciousness as the impact of the blow has gone through the brain's centre. Doctors were concerned that Haziqa's brain could be scarred if the broken skull fragments embedded in it were allowed to stay any longer and that it would cause epilepsy in the long run. Docs were convinced that a second surgery wouldn't be necessary when Haziqa started making limb movements, which they termed as a positive sign.
Meanwhile, about 20 days after the incident, Nagpada police zeroed in on two apartments where the tawa likely fell from and critically injured Haziqa Ansari. Cops interrogated more than 50 people, including local domestic help and residents to try and figure out which flat the tawa fell from. Haziqa's father had earlier appealed to the residents to confess, offering to withdraw the complaint in return.
Officers even tried fingerprint analysis on the 2.5 kg oval-shaped frying pan but they proved to be inconclusive since many passers-by had handled the tawa after the incident, making it difficult to single out a particular set of prints.
In what doctors felt was nothing short of a miracle, Haziqa Ansari awoke from her coma after the skull surgery. Doctors were amazed by the remarkable improvement in her condition. A special surgery was performed on Haziqa during which a part of her skull bone, which got pierced into her brain after getting cracked was pushed. Doctors at Bombay Hospital, where Haziqa was shifted after doctors at BYL Nair Hospital expressed doubts regarding their recovery, were confident that she would be discharged in no time. Dr Keki Terul, who undertook the delicate surgery on Haziqa terms her recovery as miraculous. Dr Terul further stated that Haziqa is able to move her limbs, sit without support and consume soft food items. She may also be able to talk again following a tracheostomy procedure but would require extensive rehabilitation to walk.
Almost two months after surgery and awakening from her coma, Haziqa Ansari returned home from Bombay Hospital on the occasion of Ramzan. She was extremely happy to come back to her loved ones. Doctors said Haziqa's neurological rehabilitation will start a week later. Her father Faizan is ecstatic about her recovery and terms it a miracle.
About The Gallery
8-year-old, who injured her skull after tawa fell on her head rendering her comatose, was discharged from hospital almost 2 months later following brain surgery. A look at some developments