The woman lay semiconscious with brain cancer.
The husband hovered over her – jobless now because he has to stay home to care for the wife.
The teenage daughter looked a bit lost – she works long hours in a restaurant, and really looked tired.
The crowded room with appliances, like a commode and a wheel chair, did not seem to fit in at all with any ordinary pattern of life – all seemed so familiar.
The care team – nurse Jess was in charge of this patient – did such precious work, ensuring her comfort, answering questions and reassuring the family.
The scene could so well have been from India – the ramshackle tin cottage, the ugliness of disease-induced poverty in sharp contrast with the scenic natural beauty, the care and love provided by the palliative care team – everything.
Pallium India was participating in a two day workshop in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – a combination of an introductory course for new doctors coming into the field, and refresher for the veterans.
It was organized by Palliative Care Association Kota Kinabalu under the leadership of Dr Ranjit Mathew Oommen and Dr Molly. It gave us the opportunity to see the Palliative Care Unit in the Government hospital headed by Dr Chitra Rajendran and to join the team on home visits led by Dr Joseph Ninan.
Congratulations on what you have achieved, Palliative Care Association!
The impact that your work makes was obvious in people’s faces, in the enthusiasm of the team, in the nature of the press reports and in what we heard of your advocacy efforts and of your fund-raising programs with participation of celebrities!