She was hardly afraid of him. She had rooted around in his pocket with her
trunk tip, found a strip of chewing gum and ate it together with the paper,
purring like a giant cat !
"Ellie is a different but special patient," said Dr
Akash, finally giving in after Arjun had
convinced him to keep her. Arjun, Dr Akash's assistant, fell in love with her
when he towed her back to his house in the forest.
"Praaa..., praaa..." went
her trunk every time she exhaled. Dr Akash suspected she might have a foreign
object -- a piece of wood of stone -- lodged up there. He decided to take
her home, to see if her air passage would clear up in a few days.
Sooner than expected, Arjun popped his head
into the open window. "Ellie is bleeding ! It's trickling down the left side of
her trunk !" he gasped.
Dr Akash rushed over, his mind racing faster than his
legs. An ulcer ? A tumor ? Something had to be done ! Drops of scarlet fell from
her trunk tip. "Don't give her any food today ! No water after the evening !" Dr
Akash instructed Arjun.
Back in his office, he called s surgeon friend of his,
requesting to borrow a flexible endoscope. The tube, which carried its own light
source, was ideal for peering into Ellie's long trunk. His friend, hearing of
Ellie's plight, readily agreed and had his driver send it over.
morning, Dr Akash injected Ellie with anesthetic. She slowly sank to her knees,
unconscious, her nose still blaring when she exhaled. He lubricated the
endoscope and gently introduced it into her left nostril. "Feed the tube slowly
into the trunk. Stop if you feel any resistance," he cautioned Arjun. Dr Akash
looked into the eyepiece and manipulated the controls, directing, "Forward,
The pink tunnel streaked with mucus and blood stretched into
darkness. "Stop !" Dr Akash said as a glistening pink boulder came into view. It
rolled forward, then halted when Ellie breathed out. Her breaths, squeezing past
it, had created the vibration they had heard.
"The 55-centimeter growth is
about a meter up her trunk," Dr Akash remarked as he pulled the instrument out,
almost certain that it was benign.
"How are you going to get it out ?" asked
"Don't worry. I'll think of something. She's going to be
alright," Dr Akash comforted him. "How on earth am I going to clear your trunk,
Ellie ?" he blasted in his mind. An elephant's trunk is a remarkable structure,
containing some 40,000 muscles and a complex network of blood vessels and
nerves. What if his incision damaged her nerves ? With a paralyzed trunk, Ellie
could no longer deliver food or water to her mouth. He had to operate on her but
how ? He did not know of anyone who had done this before. Dr Akash paused as he
gazed out into the wilderness that
surrounded the country house.
Arjun sat up straight, mouth
agape. The thought of Ellie's bleak future
clouded his eyes.