Gift of gratitude
– Dr. Manasi Rege
Receiving gratitude from patients is one of the biggest
highs that drive medical and para medical profession‐
als. It is a gift much higher than money and fame. And
as a doctor, I am in a position to receive lots and lots of
it till the time I work with an honest intention.
Our dreams of a normal internship were shattered with
the dawn of COVID 19. Instead of building a clinical
acumen, we were taking rounds of slums, screening
scores and scores of people, counseling them and
assuaging their fears, all while being clad in PPEs that
were uncomfortable to say the least. I got an insight to
their lives. While people spoke of quality time during
quarantine, here was an altogether different world
where food and livelihood was the biggest luxury.
Social distancing was impossible in a place where
breathing space was barely available with 10 people
fitted in a small cubicle what they called home.
As the cases rose, hospital beds had become a luxury.
Admitting people soon became a huge problem. And
whenever a person turned out to be positive, we were
sent for contact tracing.
But one case is truly close to my heart.
As I went into the slums of Kurla for contact tracing,
there was a boy who had tested positive. But that
was probably the least of his problems. He was also
deaf and mute and also on dialysis. I wondered at the misfortune God could bestow on someone. His
family desperately needed a COVID positive hospital
that catered to patients needing dialysis. What made
it worse is that the city had only 3 such hospitals. His
helpless family was begging me for help.
They were just one little family in that entire sea of
slums. Yet my heart went out to them. I decided I will
do every possible thing to get this boy a bed. Many
phone calls and pleads later, we finally managed
to procure a bed in one of the hospitals for him. I
personally went to his house to get him to the hospital.
And then I got my payment for the same. No, it wasn’t
money. It was the tears of gratitude that shone in
his parents’ eyes that surpassed every penny that I
was paid for my job. All those pains taken by me for
someone so unrelated to me felt worth it not just as
a doctor but as a human being. It connected me with
an invisible thread of duty to every patient that I came
across after that. It also made me realize that I had so
much more just because God had favoured me over a
hundred others. And the only way for me to repay God
for all that I have is by serving those who don’t have it.
Dr. Saloni Kaul
Topiwala National Medical College and Nair Hospital.
As narrated to Dr. Manasi Rege