Gandhiji’s second son, Mani Lal, ten years old was running high fever, when down with an attack of fever (typhoid), combined with pneumonia and was showing signs of delirium. Doctors said medicine would have no effect, but eggs and chicken-broth might be useful.
But Gandhiji would not agree to it, even when told that his son’s life was in danger without it. Gandhiji would not yield, even though the thought of his son’s impending death began to haunt him.
At last it was agreed with the doctors, that they would keep examining his son’s pulse, chest and lungs, while he himself would give hydropathic treatment to his son. Gandhiji gave his son hip-baths, 3 minutes each, keeping him on orange juice, for three days, but the fever would still shoot upto 104°F, causing delerious effects.
It was night. Gandhiji was lying by the side of his son. He felt him burning like a hot oven, as he wrote. For Gandhiji, recitation of ‘Ramnam’ became his only hope. Just then, in his prayer, he got an idea of giving cold-pack to his ailing son.
Gandhiji got up, wetted a sheet of cloth, wrung the water out of it and wrapped Mani Lal throughout, keeping his head out. He then covered it with two blankets and his head with a wet towel.
In the morning Gandhiji went out for a walk at Chaupati, deeply immersed in his thoughts on Lord Rama, with ‘Ramnama’ on his lips and no eyes on the multitude around. As he returned home, he found that his son was profusely perspiring. His fever was going down.
A little time after, Gandhiji removed the blankets. Fever had left the boy. Gandhiji, who had not slept for the night and his son, too, both fell asleep in the same bed and “slept like a log of wood”.
A regular treatment for 40 days, of diluted milk and fruit juices was continued, which completely cured Mani Lal, who later came up as “the healthiest of his sons”.