Friday, 10 January 2014

Patients look not just for cure but also for care

This is the story of a 12 year old girl from West Godavari district who had come to LVPEI two years back for treatment. At the time the child was brought to the Institute, she was already blind in one eye. On evaluation, the doctor had found that even the good eye was also going to go blind. To make matters worse, the young 30 year old mother had recently been widowed.

In the course of the next year, all the required retinal examinations were conducted for the child but to no avail. Despite the best efforts in terms of treatment, the child's second eye also too was lost to the blinding condition she had. The child’s uncle who was accompanying the patient understood the problem and explained it to his sister the young mother, in their native tongue.

However, Dr.Subhadra Jalali, the consulting doctor, did not confine herself to offering medical treatment but walked the extra mile to rehabilitate the child and help the family. She not only took all the care to explain the problem to the uncle who escorted the young mother and her child, but also took to counseling the family. She also referred the child to LVPEI's Centre for Rehabilitation that arranged for the little child to go to a school for the blind. Eventually, upon the advise of Dr Jalali, the family moved to Hyderabad to better avail the facilities.

A very concerned Dr Jalali spoke to the young mother, suggesting they consult another physician if in case they were unhappy with LVPEI. After all, they had been unable to save the child's eye, and Dr Jalali had to communicate to the mother with the help of her brother who would translate Dr Jalali's words into their native tongue. But to Dr Jalali's surprise, the young mother laughed away Dr Jalali's concerns. She said that she was very happy that her child was able to continue her education despite her blindness. Thanks to the help and guidance from the institution, she now had something to look forward to in life. "I know you care," she said, underscoring what Hunter Patch Adams said: You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you'll win, no matter what the outcome.

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