Brave wife of brave heart, I knew he would be back

NEW DELHI: CRPF commander Chetan Cheetah, who was shot nine times during an encounter with terrorists in Kashmir, was on Wednesday discharged from AIIMS after making a "miraculous" recovery .

However, doctors said that Cheetah would have to undergo a rehabilitation process in the form of physiotherapy and speech therapy for a few months for complete recovery.

Commanding Officer (CO) of the CRPF's 45th battalion in Kashmir Valley, Cheetah, had suffered bullet injuries in his brain, right eye, abdomen, both the arms, left hand and in the buttock region during an encounter with terrorists in Kashmir.

And while the doctors at AIIMS attended to him as part of their duty, the CRPF commander's wife Uma Singh stood beside him with an unshakable conviction that he will make it through.

Cheetah's recovery from nine bullet wounds was nothing short of a miracle for the doctors of AIIMS Trauma Centre but his wife says she had a firm belief that would fight back like he did in the face of terrorists.

Uma, daughter of an Army officer, who knew Cheetah from her school days said he is a fighter and a man of commitment.

"He is a fighter. He fought this battle against death as he does when he wears his uniform to combat terrorists and militants. I was sure he will be victorious as he has always been in the line of duty," Uma said.

As the hospital staff prepared the discharge documents of Cheetah, his wife recalled the day her husband was grievously injured. She had joined him in the air ambulance at the Srinagar Airport as he was transported to AIIMS Trauma Centre.

"His eyes were closed, he was completely unconscious but the moment I saw him breathing, I knew he will make it through," Uma, mother of two kids, said.

Cheetah, who was operated within 24 hours of admission as doctors removed the portion of the skull which was hit by bullet, was in coma for 16 days and spent a month in the ICU.

"Doctors would say he was in coma, but whenever I would meet him and hold his hands, he would respond by moving his fingers. That strengthened my faith that he was coming back to me," she said.

Uma, who had to juggle between home and hospital during the period of his convalescence, said the journey is not yet over for her and the final reward for would be the day when her husband would don his uniform again and return to work.

According to doctors, the hope for vision returning to Cheetah's right eye is "bleak" although his left eye which was also injured due to splinter injuries has been restored.