Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I have been remembering Saroja (name changed) frequently since I started to think of patients who I really admired for their attitude and the dignity with which they handled themselves.
I don't really remember how I came in contact with Saroja. I think she came to know that Aadhar was helping some patients with their medicines and met me regarding that.
She was a single mother who had breast cancer. Unfortunately she was one of those patients whose cancer was not responding to any treatment. She already had metastatic disease ( the cancer had spread to other parts of the body). The liver and bones were already involved. She had been a jewellery designer but had to stop working because she couldn't cope with the hospital visits and the work. Saroja had one son who was about 11 or 12 yrs at the time. She was trying to get this child adopted by a good family. And that was the first thing she asked me about. Her parents lived in Delhi but she had left home following disagreement with her father. Her mother was very supportive and was always with her during her chemotherapy.Her husband was nowhere in sight.I had never met anyone like her , who was managing alone even during this difficult time.We had lots of chats and I kept persuading her that the best place for her son would be with his grandparents. She even called up her father and made peace with him.
Saroja asked me if  Aadhar could help her get the supportive care she needed. Since Aadhar is a Child cancer fund, we decided to raise money separately for her. We raised about Rs. 40,000/- and I paid it into her account at the pharmacy of the hospital. After that we did not meet as I was out for about 2 months.
When I returned I visited the hospital again and went to the pharmacy to settle any pending bills. The manager immediately came out and met me. He asked if I had heard about Saroja. He knew about the amount we had deposited there for her medicines. He then told me she had passed away about a fortnight ago. Then he said she had come to the pharmacy a few days before that and had left instructions with him that whatever amount was left out of the Rs. 40.000/- was to be handed over to Aadhar.
I couldn't believe that this brave lady who was going through this major tragedy and the tension about her son had actually remembered to go to the pharmacy and pledge the remaining amount to Aadhar.
I can't explain what emotions went through my mind at that time. I felt totally humbled by the spirit and dignity of this lady. Hats off to you Saroja. Rest in peace.

1 comment:

KMM said...

What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it. When ever I'm frustrated, it's stories like this that remind me there really are amazing people like that out there, and makes me want to be more like that myself.