Update as of November 2nd: Mukunda Goswami was shifted from intensive care to the cardiac ward. Immediately after shifting he relished Srimad-bhagavat read out loud to him by Krsna-kirtan Das. He also went through a short but vigorous physiotherapy this morning. It is essential for his rehab to get him moving. Despite extreme exhaustion, he is chanting japa on an electronic finger counter whenever he can.
Update as of October 31st: Mukunda Goswami's recovery is going well. He started eating a little and doctors stood him up for the first time since breaking his hip. He will stay in ICU for one more night for some extra examinations.
Update as of October 30th: Mukunda Goswami is out of hip surgery. It went well, all the results are fine. He is still in intensive care, the doctors plan to move him to the cardiac ward tomorrow.
Update as of October 29th: It has been a stable night for Mukunda Goswami, with slightly raised blood pressure managed by medication. Maharaja is on painkillers but is fully conscious. He is off ventilator since yesterday morning and off heart-supportiму medication since today morning, so both his lungs and his heart are strong enough to function on their own. Therefore cardiologists have given him clearance to proceed with the hip surgery.
All the medical teams (cardio, orthopedic, and medical) agree that operation needs to be done as soon as possible as Maharaja won’t be able to recover fully from the heart surgery until he gets up and moving. They also suspect an inner hemorrhage in the fracture region, which makes the surgery all the more urgent.
However, Maharaja’s overall physical condition is still pretty weak, almost anemic, with significantly lowered hemoglobin, so the doctors have decided to give him an extra day of rest.
The hip surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning, October 30, at 7:30am Brisbane time (2:00am Indian time or 17:30pm EST the day before) and will take about 3 hours with preparation and post-surgery care. Mukunda Maharaja has given his written consent for the surgery. They will still run a number of tests on Maharaja to assess his blood composition and adjust medication to minimize the risk of both clotting and hemorrhage. He will then have to be cleared by the leading cardiac anesthetists and monitored closely overnight but they do not expect any major changes in their plans for tomorrow.
Interestingly, most of the medical staff caring for Maharaja at the hospital, including nurses and doctors, are of the South Indian origin, and they greet Maharaja and devotees with folded palms and a “Hare Krsna”. This morning the ultrasonographic specialist who came to scan Maharaja’s heart, upon learning of his patient's background smiled as he pulled out from under his collar and showed us his brahmans thread, adding “Hare Krsna!” All in all, the doctors and staff treat Maharaja with a lot of respect and care.
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His Holiness Mukunda Goswami, an ISKCON pioneer, guru, and one of Srila Prabhupada’s very first disciples, has undergone a successful triple-bypass surgery after suffering a heart-attack.
However devotees worldwide are still praying intensely as he prepares to undergo another high risk surgery on his hip tomorrow (Thursday October 29th).
On the night of October 22nd, Mukunda Goswami – respectfully known as Maharaja -- slipped at his residence on the ISKCON New Govardhana Farm in Australia and broke his hip.
As they assessed him for surgery on the hip, doctors at the Tweed Hospital on Australia’s Gold Coast detected an underlying heart condition, and canceled the hip surgery due to the risk of further heart complications.
During the night of October 24th, Maharaja suffered a heart attack, and was transferred to a larger regional hospital. There, he was scheduled for a triple-bypass heart surgery.
Despite his condition he was in good spirits as he awaited surgery. “He was chanting Hare Krishna, listening to recordings of Srila Prabhupada chanting the Holy Names, and his disciples were also reading Srimad-Bhagavatam to him,” reported Nitai Chandra Das.
Nitai Chandra’s father, Krsna Kirtan Das, is caring for Mukunda Goswami and liasing with hospital staff along with Vishnujan Das and Madan Mohan Das.
“We read some messages to Maharaja from Godbrothers and sisters, disciples and wellwishers, and he was pleased to hear them,” added Malini Durr.
The six-hour triple bypass surgery was a success. Afterwards, his heart was beating on its own, which doctors called “the best case scenario” given his pre-surgery condition.
But prayers are needed now more than ever. Maharaja is currently in the Intensive Care Unit, and his orthopedic surgeon plans to operate on his hip tomorrow.
According to the surgeon, as well as the general risks of the operation associated with old age, Mukunda Goswami is especially high-risk due to having just undergone a major surgery on top of his already weak heart.
However, delaying the operation also carries a high mortality risk, as Maharaja’s lungs have begun to rattle because of his long period of immobility in hospital, which increases the chances of pneumonia. So, doctors say, getting him up and moving is extremely important.
More news on the outcome of the operation will come very soon. Of course, visiting will not be allowed until after a substantial recovery time.
“[In the meantime] We now beg all of you to please pray to Srila Prabhupada, Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Lord Nrsimhadeva,” says Krsna Kirtan.[ mukunda-goswami ]