Kumar Marewad, a 17-year-old from Managundi, India, lay motionless on the table. Meanwhile, his whole family stood over the body, tears streaming down their faces. After preparing the teenager’s body, they began taking Marewad to his funeral. Minutes before the ritual began, Kumar’s family received the happiest scare of their lives.
A stray dog on the streets of Karnataka bit Kumar a month ago. Loose animals are a constant source of danger in India. Cows wandering at night cause accidents. As a result, some states spray neon, radioactive paint on their horns. In other parts of the country, thousands of monkeys steal from shops and attack residents. In one case, an intrepid primate even stole a bus. However, dogs may be the biggest nuisance because of their close proximity to humans. In the case of Marewad, a construction worker, the dog’s bite gave him meningoencephalitis, a deadly infection.
After the dog bite, Marewad went to a local hospital. There, he received treatment from Dr. Mahesh Neelakhantannavar. However, despite the doctor’s best efforts, Kumar’s conditioned worsened. Initially suffering from a rash and pain all over his body, fever and breathing difficulties quickly followed. The breathing difficulties became so severe that Kumar eventually went on a ventilator and life-support systems. Specialist physicians warned the Marewad family that Kumar had little chance of recovery.
Despite some misgivings, and warnings the infection would spread more quickly, the doctors released Kumar from the hospital. His family took the teenager back to his home where he quickly died. Or, at least to all outward appearances, he had died. For days, he did not breathe or move. Finally, two days later, after finishing the initial funeral rites, the family started the procession to the burial ground. Only minutes away from being cremated, the teenager jerked awake on the stretcher. Stunned family members watched as Kumar shook his arms and took long, deep breaths. They rushed him to the local hospital where doctors were amazed at his condition. Kumar remains in critical condition as doctors renew their attempt to cure his infection.