Guest column | Take a bow, demigods in white coats

Guest column | Take a bow, demigods in white coats

The past few days have been a whirlwind. My husband, Sanjay Tandon, and I had gone to the Lake Club for an event, where on a whim, he decided to play a few shots on the newly laid synthetic turf on the lawn tennis court.

The adhesion between the leather sole of his moccasin and the turf caused him to lose balance and he came crashing down; his left wrist taking his entire body weight, causing the bones to snap! In excruciating pain, he rose to find his left hand oddly twisted and a splatter of blood on the ground. His wrist watch, too, had broken and fallen off his wrist.

He was immediately whisked to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where an able team of doctors assessed his injury. Pain was writ on his face as he went through a slew of tests and scans in the course of the night.

The doctors decided that a complex surgery was the best course of action. Next morning, as the doors of the operation theatre closed, a feeling of helplessness enveloped my son and me. We just surrendered to the Gods and the doctor.

A few hours later, the surgery being done, and a titanium plate in place, I met Sanjay in the post-op room and was moved to see the tender, caring attitude of the anaesthesia team, monitoring his vitals after extubating him. I marvelled at the unassuming attitude of the surgeon, his humility and ability to align the broken and displaced bones in Sanjay’s wrist. Doctors are truly demigods and I bow my head to them.

Asked what his most difficult case was, the surgeon said, “Every case is equally difficult and important. We can just do our best.”

He added that the surgeon is always conscious that the patient and his family have surrendered to him, their most precious possession – the life of the patient, which is a huge responsibility! He also quoted one of his seniors, a world renowned surgeon, who had said: “Doctors can intubate, operate, medicate, ventilate etc. They can only do their best and then leave the rest to God.” Only God can heal or give life! But God has His instruments: Demi-Gods in white uniforms!

When he was discharged, an attendant was sent to our private room with a wheelchair. As the attendant started to roll Sanjay out, I was stunned to note that his leg had been enfeebled by the polio virus. He wheeled the chair through the wards with ease, careful not to jostle Sanjay, whose plastered hand was in a sling. I asked him about his leg and he nonchalantly said, “Ma’am, I had polio, but I can do everything my job as a ward attendant requires.”

As he manoeuvred Sanjay’s wheelchair, I felt a deep sense of awe. Sanjay is over 6-feet tall and able bodied. The man who wheeled him from the room in the ward to the exit door, was probably two-thirds his height and weight, had suffered polio, and yet his sense of duty was paramount! I was overwhelmed! We are indebted not only to the hospital, the doctors and nurses but also to this strong-willed, specially abled person. His smile and commitment touched my heart!

Sathya Sai Baba says, “Duty without love is deplorable. Duty with love is desirable. Love without duty is Divine.”

We experienced it first-hand! My tears are punctuated with gratitude for Gods and Demi-Gods …

The writer is a Chandigarh-based freelance contributor

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