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Indian girl who weeps stones in plea for help
By Justin Huggler in Delhi

19 October 2004

The girl who wept stones: it sounds like something out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. But according to reports from Jharkhand state in eastern India it is all too real.

A 15-year-old girl called Savitri been admitted to hospital suffering from tiny stones that emerge from the corners of her eyes. Doctors say they have never seen anything like it, and they cannot explain it.

At the girl's village in Jharkhand, they have two explanations. Either she is possessed by an evil spirit, or she is an incarnation of a goddess. But for Savitri, the condition is anything but a blessing. Before the stones emerge, she suffers from excruciating pain in her head. Tiny stones emerge from her ears, nose and mouth as well.

"In some cases, stones have come out from the nose and the ear of some people," said Dr Ragho Saran, an ear, nose and throat specialist who has treated Savitri. "But this is the first time I have even heard of stones coming out of the eyes. Stones are formed due to the high level of calcium in the body. But they are generally found in the gall bladder and kidney."

Savitri and her family are desperate for a cure. Her bedside at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science has been overrun by reporters, but the family say no one has been able to offer medical help.
  2004-10-21
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