It was just another bright and beautiful September morning, dating back a few years. For my family and me, that morning and the days that followed were marred in hopelessness and despair as a dear one lay on the threshold of death. We trudged along holding tight on to the tiniest flicker of hope that threatened to give away after every new hospital visit. We realized that our dear one was just another statistic, another number among the many other patients in the booming hospital business that channeled their efforts into making quick economic progress rather than treating their patients.
Divine intervention first came in the form of a friend’s daughter who suggested ‘Narayana Hrudayalaya’ (Now Narayana Health). Equipped with the best medical expertise led by its Chairman and Founder, Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, renowned as India’s Cardiac Surgeon With A Heart, for bringing change to the ‘hearts’ of India, this hospital was key to rekindling our hope.
As I grudgingly agreed to place my dear one under their care, I wondered, why me?
The answer was around me.
There were 10-day-old babies born with congenital anomalies going under the knife when they should be cozy and warm in the comforting embrace of their mothers; teenagers whose life’s challenges must revolve around dealing with emotional highs and lows were seen braving open-heart surgeries; there were families who came with nothing other than hope and prayers; there were others who came from remote villages, braving all odds of travelling with a sick child and an empty pocket. Yet, every one of them was accepted under their expert care and the same treatment delivered to all.
The days that followed at our stay in the hospital brought about a strange rapport with people who came from different walks of life; from different parts of the world – sometimes from the most interior villages and at other times from countries where medical care was either expensive or simply not available. Our fear and helplessness defied any trace of man’s otherwise indomitable ego as we all shared the same grief, prayers, a shoulder to cry on, tears of joy after every successful surgery, words of hope as dedicated doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to give yet another sick person a new lease of life.
This is a part of my past that I do not intend to dwell on but an article in the TIMES OF INDIA about India’s Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Devi Shetty – a wonderful human being to whom I will be ever indebted to for having been instrumental in saving the life of my dear one, got me to realize that the least I can do is share the message.
As a friend rightly pointed out, I hope and pray that this surgeon with magically skilled hands and a heart of gold will be instrumental in saving and bringing light to many lives in the years to come.
Have a heart, share.
To read Dr. Shetty’s Letter to the Children after his 4000th paediatric heart surgery check link: https://www.healthcitycaymanislands.com/about/our-leadership/dr-shetty-message
The Economist’s video on Dr. Devi Shetty’s mission to make world-class treatment available for all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmqaW4VSSHI