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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Memoirs of early years

I remember an incidence when I had just started my hospital. There came a patient, a rather young male who had just entered in his thirties, after being suffered multiple burn injuries by getting inflicted with high tension wires. At the time of his admission, the likelihood of his survival was pretty miserable in view of clinical state. He had sustained about 60% burns that contained both superficial and deep ones. The patient stayed at my hospital for about 6 weeks and emerged out a winner. I could not gather a single moment when I saw him getting hopeless or dull; he had this verve of life – a superfluous one. At the time of discharge, his total hospital bill was about Rs 94,000. Though we have this rule of getting payments deposited as the expenditures soar high, we don’t follow this rule with finicky attire. This is one rule that has been kept flexible; especially for the poor patients, I have instructed my staff to practice more compassion than what is the usual norm. This patient had deposited Rs 24,000 in his hospital’s account and was left with no more money. He explained this to me and said he is not in a position to return me the balance amount. 

I was curious to know why he did not opt to get his treatment done at some of the government hospital where expenses would have been far less and they even have separate burn care units with specialists 24X7. He responded after a long silence with lachrymose eyes and a heavy heart. What he said was enough to bolster my amour proper to a significant extent. He said ,” Sir, I am really sorry for not being able to pay you back for the services that you provided me when I needed them most. The moment you first attended me, I knew I was in exceptionally safe and capable hands. Had I not been in a penny-pinching state, I would have merrily given you the balance sum, and I promise to return it back to you in the years to come. What you have done to me is angelic and now I believe my mother’s words that used to stress over the fact that one comes across angels and demons in flesh and blood. I am yet to see a person as self-sacrificing as you.”

With years of social experience it does not take me a long time to decipher what’s going on in a person’s mind as he speaks a certain sentence. I was sure that this person stayed at my hospital in spite of not having any money because he trusted me with his life. I patted him on his back and told him to attend the follow up sessions on time. The moment he was about to leave my consultation room, I whispered softly that I don’t need the balance amount from him. Even before I could have finished my statement, he was brought in to tears. He cried for a long time and I consoled him. That is what I say a seraphic relationship. Beyond the description of ordinary words; the more I see life, the more I want to indulge in such selfless relationships where you only spread hope, love and compassion. Had I not been a doctor, I would certainly have not been able to experience the tranquility that peeps in my life from such sacrosanct experiences.

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